Digital Salutem
08 February 2023

The Rise of Digital Native Startups in the Healthcare Industry

By João Bocas
The Rise of Digital Native Startups in the Healthcare Industry

In the past, startups emerged in a linear process. First, ideas were generated from within large established companies, and then later spun off into startup companies. Today, digital natives, those tech startups with founders who grew up with technology — are revolutionizing the healthcare industry.

In a rapidly changing world, it’s no surprise that the healthcare industry is also undergoing a digital transformation. Healthcare startups are developing innovative technologies to improve patient care, while traditional healthcare incumbents are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. This blog post will explore the rise of digital-native start-ups in the healthcare industry, the challenges faced by healthcare incumbents, and the potential for collaboration between these two groups to improve patient access to quality care.

The Rise of Digital Native Startups in the Health Care Industry

The healthcare industry is currently in the midst of a digital transformation, with startups playing a major role in driving this change. These digital health startups are rethinking every aspect of how healthcare is delivered, from how patient data is collected and stored, to how care is coordinated and delivered. In doing so, they are helping to create a more patient-centered and data-driven healthcare system.

There are a number of factors driving the growth of digital health startups. First, the cost of technology has fallen dramatically in recent years, making it more accessible to small businesses. Second, the rise of the Internet and mobile technologies has created new opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop innovative health solutions that can be quickly scaled up and adopted by patients and providers alike. Finally, there is a growing understanding that traditional approaches to healthcare delivery are often inefficient and fail to meet the needs of patients and families.

Digital health startups are having a major impact on the way healthcare is delivered, both in terms of improving patient outcomes and reducing costs. One area where they are having a particularly profound impact is in the realm of chronic disease management. Chronic diseases account for a large majority of deaths each year, as well as a significant portion of healthcare costs. However, due to their complex nature, chronic diseases have been notoriously difficult to manage effectively.

Digital health startups are beginning to change this by developing new tools and technologies that make it easier for patients to track their symptoms, monitor their progress, and adhere to their treatment plans. In addition, these startups are also working on developing new ways to engage patients in their own care through gamification and social media platforms. As these tools become more widely available, it is likely that we will see a significant reduction in both the morbidity and mortality associated with chronic diseases.

Benefits of Digitization of Health Care

The digitization of health care offers many potential benefits for both patients and providers alike. For patients, digitization can lead to improved access to care through telemedicine services and online appointment scheduling. In addition, digitized medical records can make it easier for patients to keep track of their own health information and share it with their providers as needed. Finally, online tools such as symptom checkers can help patients get quick answers to their questions without having to schedule an appointment or visit a doctor’s office.

For providers, digitization can lead to increased efficiency through the use of electronic medical records (EMRs), computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, and other health information technology (HIT) solutions. In addition, digitization can also help provider organizations improve communication among staff members, as well as between providers and institutions such as hospitals, clinics, and payers. The adoption of digital solutions can also help provider organizations reduce operational costs while still maintaining or improving the quality of care.

Challenges for Healthcare Incumbents

As digital health startups proliferate, healthcare incumbents are under pressure to adopt new technologies or risk becoming obsolete. One major challenge for these organizations is that the very same technology that can help them improve patient care and reduce costs is also disruptive to their traditional business models. For example, telemedicine allows patients to consult with doctors remotely, which saves time and money but also reduces the need for in-person visits. Similarly, electronic medical records make it easier for patients to switch providers since their records can be transferred more easily.

digital health startups

In order to stay competitive, healthcare incumbents need to find ways to embrace digital health solutions while still protecting their existing businesses. One way to do this is by partnering with digital health startups. By working together, they can combine the best of both worlds: the startup’s innovative technology and the incumbent’s experience and resources.

Adoption of Digital Health Solutions

Another challenge facing healthcare incumbents is the adoption of digital health solutions. Many of these organizations are large and complex, with multiple stakeholders who may not be aligned on the best course of action. Change can be difficult to implement at scale, especially when it requires rethinking longstanding processes and procedures. Healthcare incumbents also need to be mindful of regulatory compliance when adopting new technologies. For example, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations governing patient privacy must be taken into consideration when using electronic medical records or other digital health tools.

Despite these challenges, there are many reasons why healthcare incumbents should consider adopting digital health solutions. In addition to improving patient care and reducing costs, digitization can also help organizations become more agile and responsive to change. By making use of data analytics, they can gain insights into trends and patterns that could inform decision-making at all levels of the organization. Additionally, digital health tools can help healthcare incumbents engage with patients in new and innovative ways, building loyalty and trust.

The Role of Collaboration

The healthcare landscape is changing rapidly, with new players and technologies entering the market every day. This changing landscape presents both opportunities and challenges for healthcare incumbents. One of the biggest challenges for healthcare incumbents is how to increase access to quality care in a cost-effective way. One way to do this is by collaborating with digital native start-ups.

Digital native start-ups are companies that have been founded with the help of digital technologies. They are typically nimble and innovative, and they often have a deep understanding of consumer behavior. By collaborating with digital native start-ups, healthcare incumbents can tap into this knowledge and expertise to improve the quality and accessibility of care.

There are several ways that collaboration can increase access to quality care. For example, digitally native startups can help healthcare incumbents develop new care delivery models that are more responsive to consumer needs. They can also help identify new ways to use technology to improve care delivery or make it more cost-effective. In addition, digital native start-ups can help connect patients with the right resources and support services.

Merging Business Practices

Another way that collaboration can improve access to quality care is by merging traditional business practices with new digital health solutions. For example, many healthcare incumbents are using outdated methods for managing patient data, scheduling appointments, and billing patients for services rendered. These manual processes are time-consuming and often lead to errors. By partnering with digital native start-ups, healthcare incumbents can modernize their business practices and make them more efficient and effective. In addition, collaboration can help ensure that new digital health solutions are seamlessly integrated into existing business processes so that they can be used to their full potential.

The Future of Healthcare

The digitization of healthcare has the potential to revolutionize the delivery of care. By providing patients with direct access to their medical records, appointment scheduling, and prescription refill ordering, digital health solutions have the potential to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction while reducing costs for both patients and providers. In addition, the use of data analytics in healthcare has the potential to improve population health by identifying trends and patterns in disease occurrence and treatment response.

digital health startups

Implications for Access to Care

The increased use of digital health solutions is likely to have a profound impact on access to care. In particular, digital health solutions have the potential to increase access to care for underserved populations by providing them with direct access to care providers and eliminating geographic barriers to care. In addition, digital health solutions have the potential to improve continuity of care by providing providers with real-time access to patient medical records.


The rise of digital native startups in the healthcare industry is having a profound impact on the way care is delivered. These companies are providing innovative solutions that are making it possible to provide quality care at a lower cost. However, traditional healthcare incumbents are facing challenges as they attempt to adopt these new technologies. One of the biggest challenges is the need to collaborate with these start-ups in order to improve access to care and deliver quality services. The future of healthcare looks promising, but there are still some hurdles that need to be overcome in order for everyone to benefit from the potential benefits of digitization.

In the healthcare industry, patient data and health records are major sources of revenue for medical providers. Therefore, it’s not surprising that these “native” startups have developed an interest in large-scale data collection. In addition to providing patients with a more positive experience and better access to their information, digital natives may also have valuable insight for digital health startups seeking to transform healthcare delivery.

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