In this episode on helping digital startups sell their solutions, I want to focus on the issue of implementation. It is certainly important to have a wiz bang digital solution. Equally important is how to implement the solution and manage the changes it causes. All startups should understand the concerns the hospital C-suite has around the implementation process.
In my last blog post I discussed the challenges digital health startups face when trying to sell to hospitals and health systems. In this post I suggest some ways to overcome the hurdles and succeed in building a client base.
Startups need to be realistic about where they are in their product life cycle. As I mentioned previously, hospitals are risk adverse with tight budgets. These organizations want proof that your solution is actually going to have the impact you claim. Early on it is beneficial to look at smaller organizations for “proof of concept.” Ambulatory settings, such as ambulatory surgery center or multi-specialty clinics are often good places to alpha and beta test a new solution. These organizations are often nimbler, and as a result, more receptive to innovation. Smaller healthcare settings may present easier access to administrators and clinicians who can help get your solution implemented. Additionally, the information security requirements may be easier to address in smaller settings.
The pathway to success for digital health startups is challenging. Hospitals are often looked at as the point of entry for digital startups. Trying to work with large hospitals can pose challenges for early stage start-ups for several reasons: