Healthcare in a Connected World: Top 5 Startup Opportunities in the Healthcare Internet of Things

By Wladimir Hinz, Altitude Accelerator Research Associate

HIoT1Measure your blood pressure, caloric intake, sleep, medicine adherence, and brainwaves, in real time with the Internet of Things (IoT).

The long-predicted revolution in the Healthcare Internet of Things (HIoT) is already underway. As reported by, HIoT is projected to hit $117 billion by 2020, with an explosive CAGR of 15.1%. This makes it the fastest growing sector of the entire IoT.

As new markets are building around the IoT, startups are the driving force. It’s estimated that for all the economic impact of the IoT by 2020 (about $1.9 trillion), startups will be responsible for half of it.

This, in addition to the growth potential, makes the HIoT a very attractive sector for startups.

In the next 5 years, the number of devices connected to the IoT will grow exponentially, mainly because it will incorporate devices that aren’t smartphones, tablets and PC’s. Studies put the estimated number of connected devices in the 50 – 30 billion range.

Machine to machine (M2M) communications are bound to take over, too. Far more opportunities for sharing (and keeping) information arise when machines and devices handle all the heavy data (aka Big Data), and users only deal with the applications and platforms. There’s an unsettling amount of information that gets lost when patients are being monitored, but this is coming to an end with HIoT. Products like Flatiron Health’s OncologyCloud are able to recover almost all (96%) of the data that usually gets lost when monitoring patients.


As new business opportunities are opening up, startups are focusing on different areas. These are the top 5 right now:

  1. Remote Monitoring: Effective remote monitoring so that people who don’t have access to health monitoring don’t suffer. Companies are basically concentrating on how to securely capture data from sensors, the proper algorithms to analyze it and the ways that this information can be shared with healthcare professionals. See what Freescale has done.
  1. Early prevention: Technology for people who want to remain healthy and want to monitor their daily activities. Here, the big market of wearables comes in play and products like AliveCor Mobile ECG are likely to flourish.
  1. Clinical Care: Referring to non-invasive treatments/diagnostics that can be wirelessly transmitted to constantly report on patients. Normally, a caregiver would have to personally attend a patient, but with technology like Massimo’s Radical-7, a caregiver could monitor several patients at once from his or her clinician station.
  1. Hospital Efficiency: Connected systems like GE’s Hospital Operations Management, where a network of sensors and alerts that can monitor and look after patients, equipment, staff, and supplies, are becoming more and more popular.
  1. Medical Data: Patients produce a lot of data when they are attached to medical devices and equipment. So, by making the outputs easier to understand and analyze, caregivers can gain important insights that could have been otherwise missed. Capsule offers one solution for this.

It’s clear to see where the HIoT is moving. Everyone participating in the medical profession will have to adapt their mindsets to take full advantage of the infinite array of smart connections designed to improve the way data is utilized. Especially hospital and community care procurement departments who will need to adjust their strategy away from cost-based procurement towards value-based procurement.

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