The United States healthcare system is one of the most complex in the entire world, and one which is experiencing a constant state of evolution. The market itself is buoyed by thousands of parties – ranging from insurance and software to administration and pharmaceuticals – working in synchronicity together.
US national healthcare spending reached $4.3 trillion in 2021 (equating to just over $12,900 per person) and the industry is expected to reach a valuation of $6.2 trillion by 2028, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Its 2021 spending was almost one-fifth (18.3%) of the US GDP for that year, which just shows the enormity and presence of this industry.
As the population approaches 340 million people, the US healthcare sector is also continuing to expand, providing ample opportunities for innovative and game-changing business ideas. Could new startup businesses help improve the standard of healthcare services? Could the emerging trends of more active consumer roles in using tech to monitor their own health open up new gaps in the market? Has the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic presented new viable ways to make a living?
That’s what this guide will explore, hopefully providing ambitious business-savvy individuals with some food for thought about their healthcare venture.
9 New Healthcare Business Ideas
When looking at growth rates for occupations, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that healthcare employment is projected to grow faster than average, by 18%. That equates to lots of potential blossoming new opportunities, helped significantly by the amount of spending and aging population.
With this in mind, consider the following business ideas.
Medical Equipment and Uniform Sales
Senior citizens and those with chronic illnesses or disabilities require a constant stream of medical supplies and equipment. Medical professionals will also need to buy new uniforms and accessories over time, and certainly, private practices will need to upgrade all types of equipment, whether it’s diagnostics tests, assays, kits, or reagents.
While opening a brick-and-mortar store seems like a good first step, keep in mind that this has local restrictions. Therefore, an online store seems like a better option, whether you want to provide B2C or B2B services. Conduct deep market research so you can ensure you are stocking the best products for the right consumers or businesses.
Online pharmacies provide prescription and non-prescription (or over-the-counter) drugs via a combination of web portals or mail requests, with products shipped via a range of couriers or shipping companies. Online pharmacies have become increasingly common in recent years, seeing a 14.6% increase in growth, projected to reach $31.6 billion in 2023.
If you are to set foot in the online pharmaceutical space, you’ll need to be able to oversee one or multiple databases of products and ensure the various systems integrate together via your website. You’ll need to invest in digital payment gateways and understand the fundamentals of web design and development, not to mention compliance with HIPAA regulations.
Healthcare Marketing Services
Digital marketing is crucial for any business regardless of its sector, and healthcare is no different. Healthcare facilities constantly need expertise in multiple digital marketing facets, ranging from social media and online paid advertising to regular content writing and SEO services.
There is a huge market for providing helpful information online, as people will always need expert, reliable advice about types of treatment, prescriptions, and so on. Embarking in healthcare digital marketing services can open the door to a range of doctors and health professionals requiring your assistance.
Healthcare App Development
To book appointments or treatment, receive prescriptions, manage medical issues, and arrange immunizations, patients and practitioners use medical mobile applications more than ever. The market for healthcare apps has significantly expanded since 2020’s record heights, with over 350,000 digital health apps now available to consumers, according to a recent IQVIA report.
Mobile apps can either be built in-house or outsourced to a professional app development company. They can be used for the benefit of patients and practitioners, whether used for virtual consultations, online transactions, deliveries, and everything in between. They can help boost productivity and save time for both parties.
Doctors, nurses and other practitioners often take a mixture of voice recordings and written notes when assessing or treating patients. They are always going to be in dire need of medical transcriptionists.
While the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning has improved the accuracy of medical transcriptions, it has not yet replaced the need for humans to review and confirm the legitimacy of the text. This type of work can be done remotely with some easy-to-use software, so the initial setup will not be challenging.
Home or Alternative Healthcare Services
Home healthcare businesses provide in-home medical assistance for hospital patients that have recently been discharged. These are typically reserved for the chronically ill or disabled, as well as seniors that need round-the-clock assistance. People often turn to at-home care because of the many rewarding personal benefits it can bring, as well as income.
At-home services aren’t limited to daily care, but alternative therapies too. These can include massage therapy, physiotherapy, chiropody, acupuncture, osteopathy, and more. Not all health insurance plans cover alternative therapies, but many people are still willing to consider it. If this is of interest, ensure you are qualified to pursue your specialties and check your state’s requirements for practicing said treatment(s).
Hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, clinics, and even pharmacies all need to have accurate and timely records management. Often, all systems that each facility uses will be proprietary, but when dealing with patients that visit multiple facilities, all systems need to integrate and communicate with one another.
You could either work with practitioners to develop a management system, deploy that solution and train their staff on the processes, or you can offer bespoke management services that clients can outsource to you. Either would be ideal for practitioners that are short on staff and can’t afford to employ full-time workers in-house.
Medical Billing Services
When submitting insurance claims, medical billing and coding are required to ensure that practitioners receive the money owed to them. While large hospitals and organizations typically manage this medical billing in-house, smaller practices and sole practitioners often need external assistance to manage this technical field of work.
By learning coding and best practices for medical billing services, you can branch out to small-to-medium-sized facilities to outsource this work to you.
Diet and Nutrition Assistance
You could potentially build a business as a dietician or nutritionist, helping people improve their health and eating habits. This can be segmented even further by delving into sports nutrition, weight loss help, exercise training, and even holistic treatments.
These require licenses and are regulated in some states, while others are less restrictive, so it’s worth checking your state’s laws to see what applies to you.
The list above only scratches the surface of the potential avenues you can pursue in the healthcare sector. The bottom line is that there are plenty of mutually beneficial and healthy startup healthcare business ideas for those interested in the field.
It’s recommended that you check any local, regional, federal, and national regulations, licensing restrictions and any training or education requirements before you embark on your venture. Also, do plenty of research before you get started. Ultimately, your endeavor has to be well-planned if you are to have any success.