Business is Booming in the World of HIT Start Ups

All together now, dear readers – repeat after me: Rock Health. Blueprint Health. Health Box. Have I missed any? Healthcare start up/incubator/accelerator programs – call them what you will – are popping up everywhere these days. Be they on the West Coast, East Coast or in between, these programs obviously have no lack of interested applicants, as mobile health, patient engagement and social networking show big potential for transforming healthcare on multiple levels. User experience research firm User Insight is even getting in on the act, with news that it will launch a three-month start-up innovation program in Atlanta.

As with any industry, when you have one business model become popular, a number of service providers pop up around it to offer support. I had the chance to chat about these developments with Cynthia Coker, founder of and principal at N2M Advisory – an advisory services firm focused on start-up and early development phase companies that recently formed a division solely devoted to healthcare. I got her take on why three areas in particular seem ripe to foster start ups in HIT, and what sort of challenges they can expect o encounter.

What sort of presence do you have in each city you’re located in – Atlanta, New York and San Francisco?

We are currently doing a lot of work in the San Francisco Bay area and have some Silicon Valley tech veterans on our team. San Francisco has a well-earned reputation for IT innovation and the healthcare IT startup market gets a lot of play in both bright ideas and funding. There are several new ventures springing up that are boosting startup activity such as Rock Health. Some of the noteworthy new startups include Massive Health, Cake Health, and OmadaHealth, among others. The Palo Alto/San Francisco area is leading the nation in new healthcare ventures that focus on IT solutions.

New York is a growth area for us as well, and we are observing a lot of interest in healthcare IT startups in this region of the country. New York will receive nearly $350 million in federal funding to assist with infrastructure and expansion costs for their healthcare delivery network, which includes the adoption of new technology. This amount is four times the national average and leaves $227 million for implementing healthcare exchanges, a prime allocation that lends itself to startups.New York is also home to the health-centric incubator Blueprint Health, the StartUp Health Academy, a mentoring program, and WellTech, a health and wellness focused incubator.

N2M has had headquartered in the Atlanta area for many years focusing upon the healthcare IT sector. The city is poised for explosive growth in healthcare IT due to its leading health institutions and the presence of many established technology companies. There are more than 100 healthcare IT companies throughout Georgia, including McKesson Technology Solutions, currently ranked as the largest IT health provider in the world. Atlanta is among the fastest growing high-tech metro areas in the nation, with over 13,000 technology companies employing nearly 200,000 employees.  Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center and Venture Atlanta are just two examples of the technology revolution in Georgia. Atlanta promises to become the next hot spot for healthcare IT startups.