Top 15 Health Tech Startups You Should Know

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Top 15 Health Tech Startups You Should Know

Join us in discovering how healthcare technology companies are bringing innovation to the industry by promoting healthier lives for patients

Updated: Feb 16, 2022
Published on: Dec 23, 2020

Disruption in the healthcare industry and life sciences is well underway and shows no signs of slowing down. New health tech startups are jumping into the healthcare system at an astonishing pace and patient care is improving through earlier diagnoses, personalized health management, and better health outcomes. 

Far more than a virtual primary care visit, digital health could be facilitated using different tools from fields such as:

  • Artificial intelligence, data science, machine learning, and blockchain technologies for research and diagnostics
  • Medical devices in the form of wearables and implantables to monitor chronic pain and deliver medication
  • Mobile apps to promote well-being and give the consumer more awareness and options for personal health management

Let’s take a look at the top 15 health tech companies that are working to improve patient experiences.

Health Care Startups Innovating for Heart Disease

Health care worker holding glowing pill

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, representing 25% of the nation’s deaths. As the CDC states, heart disease is known to be the leading cause of death for most ethnic groups in the United States, including both men and women. The following stats portray the condition’s severity: approximately one person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease, while about a total of 659.000 people die each year from heart complications. In its entirety, deaths from this disease occur once in every 4 deaths.

Realistically speaking, tragedy has its costs, directly impacting different areas of the economy and public spending policies: from 2016 to 2017, the United States spent approximately $363 billion in funding healthcare services, hospital facilities, and medicines -among other expenses- due to heart diseases. Alongside what has been mentioned, another direct cause of the disease has to do with its direct impact on the workforce and lost productivity due to its associated mortality: therefore causing important effects on American socioeconomic systems.

For that reason, it is important to spread as much awareness as possible of the deathly consequences of heart disease and how to prevent it early on, as well as endorsing healthy practices such as the implementation of wearable devices in our daily lives as a way to conquer our health goals. We can combat heart disease by introducing preventive measures, from taking a more proactive stance on our health journey to adding new devices that will help us track our biometrics. The following health companies are bringing innovation to this space, aiming to change the irreversible and worsening consequences of cardiovascular disease.

1. CVRx

An implantable device, the Barostim Neo is lauded for reducing symptoms and improving the quality of life for patients with heart disease. Developed by CVRx, the device relaxes the blood vessels, regulates heart rate, and reduces fluid in the body.

With $351.8 million in funding and a 97% success rate, according to the CVRx website, the future looks promising for this device and the patients who use it.

2. Omron Healthcare

Omron Healthcare is the first to market with a wrist watch-type blood pressure device. The HeartGuide™ blood pressure monitor is a wearable that tracks heart health in real-time. Conveniently worn like a wristwatch, HeartGuide gives patients immediate feedback on the effects of their real-world activity. 

The HeartGuide medical device won numerous awards in 2019, including Time’s Best Inventions, CNET’s Innovation Award, and Techlicious’ Top Pick of CES. 

Health Care Startups Innovating for Cancer

Woman working at health tech startup

As the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., cancer is projected to claim over 600,000 lives this year, according to the American Cancer Society. In 2018 alone, almost 2 million new cancer cases were reported and approximately 600,000 people died of cancer. Reported data shows that for every 100,000 people, 436 cancer cases were reported and out of the sample 149 patients ended up dying from cancer. Despite how heartrending the data might be, we are currently moving towards a reduction in the cancer death rate. A 2019 report by the American Cancer Society states that the cancer death rate dropped in 2019 by about ⅓ (32%) from its peak in 1991. In real numbers, this means that in 1991 on average out of 100,000 deaths, 215 were accounted for patients diagnosed with cancer, while in 2019 the number had reduced to 146. In total, this translates to approximately 3.5 million deaths prevented, a stat that reaffirms we are currently witnessing changes in both technology, healthcare, and society’s behaviors.

In terms of the impact that cancer has on the different sexes, the rate of new cases -also known as cancer incidence- is 469.9 per 100,000 men and 413.2 per 100,000 women per year. The latter means that men have a greater possibility of contracting cancer, based on the data available from 2018. In regards to the cancer mortality rate, data shows that it is higher among men than women, with 189.5 per 100,000 men and 135.7 per 100,000 women. 

According to a list of new cancer cases published in 2020, the culprits are breast, lung and bronchus cancer, which approximately causes 22% of deaths, followed by prostate, colon and rectum cancer. These are some of the top health tech companies that are innovating in delivering earlier diagnoses and better treatment options. 

3. Medial EarlySign

Medial EarlySign is bringing data analytics to providers in the health care system — along with lots of clinical data from its network. The innovation is in the way Medial EarlySign is using the data. By analyzing the large volume of data available, Medial EarlySign can identify individuals at high risk of getting specific diseases like colorectal or lung cancer.

By knowing their risk status, patients can make behavioral or dietary changes, are more prone to get regular checkups, and have the potential of avoiding disease or at least identifying early-stage symptoms when cancer is most treatable. Best of all, the data Medial EarlySign uses is the typical data stored in everyone’s electronic health record (EHR). No special tests or additional costs are involved.

4. SEngine Precision Medicine

Using mass data from digital medical records, SEngine Precision Medicine is spearheading clinical research for more effective cancer treatments and new drug discoveries. By comparing a patient’s cancer cells with available therapies, SEngine promises to determine “the most effective and least toxic treatment options.”

Health Care Startups Innovating for Women’s Health

Health tech startup for women's health

Breast health, fertility issues, menopause symptoms, and more are all part of the field of women’s health services. In comparison to women in other high-income countries, American women have long struggled to access the healthcare system. Despite the United States having the highest per capita healthcare spending, Americans still report high rates of not seeking care because of costs and limited access to certain treatments, especially those related to chronic diseases. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010, most women in the US now have guaranteed access to health coverage and more than 7 million working-age women have gained insurance. 

Taking into account that the sector is more than open to innovation, the following companies are emerging healthcare tech startups that are taking the lead in femtech and women’s health technologies. 

5. Welwaze

According to their website, Welwaze’s product Celbrea® is “the first fully-integrated breast health monitoring system.” Celbrea is a patch with sensors that connects to a mobile app and detects possible changes in a woman’s breast.

The device and app are intended to increase early detection and be used by women in addition to regular doctor exams and mammograms.

6. NextGen Jane

Still in beta testing, NextGen Jane promises to help women uncover early signs of cervical cancer, endometriosis, and other feminine diseases through their Smart Tampon platform.

Women receive kits that include an organic cotton tampon and a storage container to send their tampons to the company for analysis. Backed with $11.3 million in investor funding, NextGen Jane is a startup to watch.

7. Willow

Especially for working moms or mothers of multiple children, pumping breast milk can be a real hassle. Willow has developed a wearable breast pump, allowing women to harvest breast milk while attending to their normal tasks. Even better, Willow created a companion app to track the amount of milk being pumped over time and provide women with useful breastfeeding tips. 

Health Care Startups Innovating for Diabetes

The CDC published a sobering report showing that 37.3 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes (which represents an alarming 11.3% of the total population) and 8.5 million live with the disease undiagnosed, which, in turn, represents 23% of undiagnosed adults. In addition, a staggering 96 million more are prediabetic. Alongside the fact that diabetes is a complex condition, there are multiple health risks associated with it, such as being overweight, obese, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It is also worth noting that the overall number of patients that suffer from diabetes is an aging population: the percentage of adults with diabetes increases with age, reaching almost 30% in those aged 65 years or older. 

The innovations coming from these healthcare tech startups bring a more than welcoming relief to those Americans living with this condition. Getting access to technologically advanced devices will improve diabetic’s daily routines by providing them the opportunity to better monitor their vitals, and, taking into account that this aging population has to face other challenges among those related to their condition, the following innovations will surely have a positive impact on their lives.

8. Insulet

The Omnipod, developed by Insulet, offers diabetics a wearable device that delivers continuous doses of insulin. Insulet also developed a mobile device to ensure users are getting the appropriate dosage.

The Omnipod’s waterproof and wireless design is not only convenient but also eliminates the need for injections. In addition, the companion device includes a calorie library of over 80,000 foods to help the user keep their diet on track.

9. Senseonics

A diabetic’s daily routine includes closely monitoring their glucose levels. Senseonics is the first health care company to develop an implantable CGM (continuous glucose monitor) device. Their Eversense system is built with a sensor implanted under the skin and uses a rechargeable transmitter and mobile app to measure glucose levels for up to 90 days.

Once your device is implanted, your data is easily shared with your health care provider.

10. Bigfoot Biomedical

As a caregiver to his 5-year-old son, the inventor of Bigfoot Medical is on a mission to make diabetes management easy and less intrusive in patients’ and caregivers’ lives. From measuring glucose to receiving insulin, Bigfoot promises a better solution — and it’s got $55 million in Series C financing to make it happen.

While not the first to market with a new device for CGM or insulin dosing, Bigfoot may be the first to market with a health care technology product that does both. With the personal story behind this company, this is a startup that will make headlines as it continues to innovate for its cause.

Health Care Startups Innovating Through Wearables and Smart Devices

Health tech wearable app design

Along with the proliferation of plant-based food innovations and consumer fitness equipment inventions, digital wellness tools are in high demand. These healthcare technology startups are going to market with digital health technologies that reflect current trends in wellness. Want to learn more about Wearables’ booming market and the advantages of implementing these innovations in the healthcare industry? Check out our post dedicated to Wearable Technology!

11. Biostrap

Ranked among the top health tech companies, this product allows users to connect a wrist strap with an embedded infrared sensor and a mobile app, and you’ve got Biostrap — a wearable device that analyzes sleep patterns, measures heart rates, calculates blood oxygen levels, and monitors respiratory rates.

Biostrap is a favorite among professional and amateur athletes and earned a spot as a semifinalist for the SleepTech Award from Sleep Foundation.

12. Apollo

Stress has been linked to obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, depression, and more. The Apollo Neuro is a neuro-science-powered wellness device that uses gentle vibrations to help you manage stress and improve your biometrics.

Apollo Neuro offers seven different modes of vibrations, so you can select the appropriate therapy to help you increase energy, improve focus, or wind down, depending on your needs.

13. EllieGrid

For anyone taking multiple medications or even vitamins and supplements, EllieGrid keeps your pills organized and then takes the extra step of reminding you when to take them and when to get refills.

Using a smart pillbox device connected to a mobile app, EllieGrid stores your medication in separate compartments and rings when it’s time to take your pills. It then flashes lights indicating which compartment contains the pills to take at that time, and how many to take. Premium versions offer historical records of the date and time medications are taken, and can even alert a caregiver of a missed dose.

Health Care Startups Innovating for Caregiving and Treatment

Gherry app screenshots

Caregivers, whether unpaid, paid, informal or professional are the backbone of long-term care provided in patients’ homes. According to the CDC’s definition, they provide care to people who need some degree of ongoing assistance with everyday tasks and activities on a regular or daily basis. According to data extracted from the CDC’s state-based Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, approximately 25% of American adults (18 or older) reported providing care or assistance to a person with a long-term illness or disability in the past 30 days. The data also includes “informal or unpaid care” since it also includes the one provided by direct family members or friends, rather than by paid caregivers. Despite being unpaid or informal caregivers, these individuals constitute a major force and the next innovations will also make their daily tasks easier.

Those who receive care can either live in residential or institutional facilities and range from children to older adults who live with chronic illnesses or disabling conditions. Have a look at how the following healthcare technology startups are innovating in caregiving and the way treatments are currently conducted.

14. Sinq

Sinq is a mobile-first platform built with the relationship between health insurance plan management, home health care providers, and patients in mind.

Using technology to enhance transparency, the Sinq platform can improve community health plans and help patients stay at home longer while receiving quality health services from informed care teams.

15. ViviHealth

Vivi360 is an “insight-as-a-service ” wearable developed by ViviHealth. Dedicated to recovery care and relapse prevention, Vivi360 monitors health indicators and applies machine learning to aid in care and recovery and identify warning signs of a potential relapse.

Armed with a GPS system, Vivi360 encourages meeting attendance and alerts caregivers if the person in recovery is going into dangerous territory. Providers deliver more effective treatment programs through critical vital signs and behavioral insights.

Health Tech Startups Are Changing the Healthcare System

Medical worker touching iPad screen with hovering digital charts

We’ve barely touched on the existing innovations disrupting the health care industry, and there’s sure to be more on the horizon. From treating illness to preventing disease, digital health tech is changing the way clinicians treat patients and how we take care of ourselves. 

December Labs is a leading tech company in the healthcare space, using health design thinking and accessibility processes to meet the highest quality assurance standards and ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations for EHR. 

We’ve helped our clients (many of them listed here) build cutting-edge technology from the ground up in both iOS and Android frameworks, integrate wearables with mobile apps, and build cloud-based platforms to improve the healthcare system on a global scale. Contact us today and let’s partner on your next health care innovation.

Elisabeth Bohlmann
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