Be Wary Of Healthcare IT Startups

Mike Silverstein wrote a wonderfully candid story on HISTalk. Everyone that buys heatlcare IT needs to read the entire post. This part in particular is a gem…

“Their [healthcare IT startup companies’] game plan is often the same: spend a bunch of money to hire salespeople who can go out and sell something, then hope something sticks and figure out the rest later.”

My take is this…due diligence is more important than ever and most of us aren’t doing it right.

5 thoughts on “Be Wary Of Healthcare IT Startups

  1. And this hurts those of us who have built our companies over the course of a decade with an environment where quality is demanded. Driven by ethics and a desire to make a difference, some of us diligently look for ways to provide the most honest, valuable services – only to be overshadowed by slick salespeople who garner the attention of clients, then take them to the bank for the poor service they provide. We all wish that everyone would look closely at what they’re buying so those of us who are here for the long haul will get the business that we frequently lose out to glitzy marketing.

    A frequent saying we have here when we lose a bid to certain competitors is that the client went with the Fluff and not the Stuff.

  2. I’d also be careful not to lump all startups in with the idea that they’re all well funded startups that pay for sales people. In fact, I think the opposite is more common. Most of the healthcare startups are a bunch of really smart programmers/designers that are trying to create a beautiful product and have very few good quality sales people. The problem is that these startups aren’t the ones calling you, so they often don’t get seen.

    Of course, the idea of due diligence is an important one though. I’m always amazed what a slick salesperson can get pushed through.

  3. Great post Will. Many of these companies have approached us and have technical knowledge, but struggle to convince us the benefit of their product over what is already established in the marketplace. Even when the sales pitch has been top-notch, I don’t see how one could sell such a giant leap of faith to leadership without strong client references, a proven track record, or a successful implementation under their belt.

    • John,
      You’re right that they should be able to illustrate the benefit. However, if every hospital waits for “client references, a proven track record, or a successful implementation” then no new solutions will ever be adopted since no one will be first. A vision and trust in a company can overcome a previously proven track record. Many hospital CIOs are just overwhelmed by the minutiae that they lack vision of where they should take their hospital.

  4. This is an interesting post.
    I would like to “represent” the other party- the one of the startup companies.
    As a due diligence, I am working in an Israeli start up (SphereUp).
    We mainly approach service oriented organizations, like hospitals and universities, offering them our patent pending solution. Although we don’t have dedicated sales people (as of yet), we feel that we are getting a good grip of the market.
    I am assuming that organizations, in healthcare like in other verticals, value a good solution when they see one, especially one that can help them grow their patient base (online), even when sales people are not involved yet.

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