Now is seemingly the time for start-ups operating within the healthcare sector to consider pursuing new strategies for future success. Healthcare business ventures have recently been on the rise with a focus on health-tech orientated service provisions and solutions to aid resourcing, overcrowded hospitals and medication distribution.
Healthcare Business Propositions
It should come as little surprise, given the current state of affairs for UK healthcare, that much of the industry’s present focus centres around the NHS; between the state-funded organisation’s widely-publicised staff shortages, cashflow issues and overpopulated hospitals, there’ve been countless opportunities of late for the industry’s start-ups to cater for those areas which the service currently cannot. For some industry firms, the biggest business development potential lies in outsourcing: the Financial Times for instance reported last month that a new deal struck by the NHS and Care UK will see the latter “private-equity owned group” henceforth conduct orthopaedic operations for Plymouth’s university hospitals, while the Guardian suggests that NHS executives are also scouting for new healthcare waste management firms in the wake of their controversial waste disposal affair.
Yet whereas the above cases involve companies generating profit by working directly along the NHS, just as many firms – if not infinitely moreso – are developing independent initiatives set to push the UK healthcare sector into uncharted technological territory. Take OKRA Technologies, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics company for healthcare which built upon its £3m Series A investment with new property and client acquisitions, or Now Healthcare, whose efforts to transform the £8bn domestic market for repeat prescriptions with a “super-hub pharmacy” proved so successful that they’re already contemplating US expansion. Both of these flourishing businesses are prime examples of how today’s medical start-ups can bring fresh ideas to the table, fulfil key market gaps and (provided that they’re willing to take a leap of faith) rapidly acquire clients.
Better yet, Brexit uncertainty needn’t restrain healthcare businesses from overseas activities, Now Healthcare’s stateside considerations seemingly represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the sector’s ever-escalating international opportunities. The government’s resident export credit agency, UK Export Finance, has for example announced €380m worth of support for construction behemoth ASGC UK’s contract to build three new hospitals for the Angolan Ministry of Health, thereby opening the floodgates for medical business start-ups to bid for connected projects.
The Future of UK Healthcare and Implications for Healthcare SMEs
So what might developments such as those discussed above portend for the future of UK healthcare?
In the same year as Carillion’s collapse, the support services and construction multinational Interserve, who also provide healthcare services for local authorities, suffered troubles of their own with notable lossmaking contracts. New partnerships will therefore have to be formed selectively to strengthen healthcare for both businesses and public health services.
Additionally, success stories for once-fledgling enterprises like OKRA Technologies, Now Healthcare and the University Hospitals Plymouth / Care UK partnership might prove emboldening for any start-ups reluctant to fully pursue their financial aspirations next year but business led projects should aim to address specific NHS priority areas including improving A&E performance, strengthening access to high quality GP services and improvements in cancer services and mental health – more details of this can be found in ‘The NHS Five Year Forward View’. Even current NHS suppliers are improving and solidifying their positions through reinvestment, for example EMIS Group’s recently announced plans to migrate their health suite data platform which serves healthcare professionals in over 10,000 UK organisations to a new cloud-based solution.
If you’ve conceived a new healthcare business concept which will aid the gaps in healthcare, quality and financial sustainability and require funding assistance to grow your ambition, do visit Touch Financial’s various financial product pages for plenty of useful information, including how to access different facilities and the relevant application criteria involved.