With the advent of smartphones, there are now thousands of health-related apps. Leading edge health information technology (HIT) startups are launching not just in the “hot” tech hubs of India and Israel, but also in countries like Germany.
Most of the new HIT companies are going in one of four directions:
1. A very discrete offering (often with an “app”) that targets a specific disease or health condition
2. A platform that links health providers with patients (with virtual visits via video or by text/email)
3. A means of leveraging “big data” to gather intelligence for diagnoses, etc
4. An “all in one” cloud-based location for patients to (securely) hold all their health-related information
New German companies, for example, are focusing on (as reported by Der Spiegel):
• Digital dermatological diagnosis (Klara)
• Pregnancy diaries and menstrual monitoring (One Life; Clue)
• An app for video conferencing between patients and physicians (Patientus)
So will HIT be driven by the big or small?
This creates an interesting question regarding whether the future of HIT is being created by small startups everywhere rather than by the IT giants like Google, Apple and Facebook that have been making big billion-dollar investments to be at the HIT forefront.