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Assessing the value of an innovative startup in healthcare: updated scorecard

August 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm / by

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion of the Scorecard we unveiled in an earlier article on this site: Patrice, William, Regina, Daniel, Lisa, Patrick, Erik, Caren, Hugo, Robert and Karen.

We’ve updated the Scorecard based on your ideas; before we get to the new version however, we’d like to reiterate a few of the guiding thoughts behind the Scorecard.

Our departure point is that in healthcare the products/services will have to survive in a unique ecosystem with unique challenges and unique opportunities. Excellent outline of some of these challenges and opportunities can be found in this Harvard Business Review article by Clayton Christensen, Richard Bohmer, and John Kenagy.

Therefore, while the basic principles for startups, customers and investors apply (and here’s a fresh example), there are additional considerations that are very important for healthcare startups.

With that in mind, our objective is to create a simple, straightforward scorecard specific to the healthcare sector that would allow a potential customer or investor to quickly evaluate a startup along the criteria that matter to such customer or investor.

It should also serve as a “mirror” for the startups which will help them better understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and indicate the areas which need more work.

We are not looking for a comprehensive tool which would cover every important aspect of a startup – team, intellectual property protection, market size, scalability, etc.. There are many existing guidelines and recommendations – for example, an excellent overview of components of a business plan (page 17) offered by two VCs, Patrick Polak of Newion and Marc Lambrechts of Capricorn.

Last but not least, startups should not strive to reach a perfect score across all dimensions – it’s counter-productive and likely impossible too.

Oh, and not everything has to be 100% numerically measurable – the scorecard is built around the human experience, intuition, and judgement.

The tool can still evolve – so please continue to provide your excellent comments!

 

IMPACT ON CARE ORGANIZATION

Cost effectiveness

1. Does the service/product deliver a quantifiable cost reduction?

Improvements in procedures and efficiency

2. Does the project produce quantifiable improvements on workflow, time and/or efficiency (keeping in mind direct and indirect switching costs)?
3. Does it allow a healthcare provider to shift work to less-specialist resources (more abundant + less expensive) – from specialist to general hospital, from MD to nurse, etc.

Indirect improvements

4. Will it have a positive impact on Human Resources/recruitment?
5. Will it support successful marketing of the care organization?
6. Will it reduce administrative burden or simplify making management decisions?

 

SOCIAL IMPACT

Impact on care consumer

7. Does it measurably improve outcomes of the treatment?
8. Will it offer care consumers greater peace of mind/confidence in the treatment process via more personal connection or other engagement mechanisms (i.e. gamification)?
9. Does it offer more convenience?

Impact on hands-on care practitioner

10. Does it make life easier for the hands-on practitioner?
11. Will it enhance the practitioner’s overall job satisfaction?

Impact on taxpayer

12. Does it produce a long-term improvement in healthcare costs (including indirect improvements through prevention, reducing re-admission, improving adherence, etc.)?

 

PROJECT ECONOMICS

Disruptiveness

13. Is it a drastic improvement of the current state-of-the-art?

Usability

14. Is it difficult to integrate with existing systems, partnerships and administration processes throughout the entire healthcare ecosystem?

Business model

15. Does it comply with regulation?
16. Is it “reimbursable”?

“Billion dollar question”

17. Would you invest your own money TODAY? (it’s just a question)

Tags

 

8 Comments

  1. If the startup is based on substances not regarded as ‘new drugs’ but on a different use of existing tested substances will it be acceptable to members of the medical profession no matter how efficient it may be?

    • Leo Exter says:

      Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for the question!

      This one is a bit out of the scope for HealthStartup (at least for now) – we focus on using new technologies for solving non-medical problems (process improvements, etc.).

  2. The startup will compete with major established companies either by reducing their sales or by making their research redundant. Is it robust enough to withstand the pressure?

    • Leo Exter says:

      Excellent specific question to add to a more specific disruptive scorecard. We’ll definitely keep it in mind if we decide to enlarge the Scorecard more on the business side of things.

  3. Is the startup product IPR owned by the company and protected?

  4. Kerry Ryder says:

    does it fit with the published strategy of the health service.?

    Also in response to “does it compete with major co’s”, I did see a podcast that suggested really disruptive technologies take the low value business bigger companies are not interested in and can expand rapidly in that space to eventually over turn bigger ones.

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