This MedTech Startup Idea from the 1001 Startup Ideas collection of YoStartups is to build a Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases, this platform will help patients with rare diseases to find the doctors that are specialized in them. Often the patients with these conditions find it difficult to find a best-suited doctor and end up wasting their critical time in identifying and running after different medical centers.
Market Definition for 1001 Startup Ideas – Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases
According to European Union, a disease is classified as ‘rare disease’ if it affects 5 in 10,000 of the general population. As per a report on raredisease.org.uk, there are between 6000 and 8000 known rare diseases and around five new rare diseases are reported in medical literature every week.
It is estimated that around 350 million people worldwide suffer from rare diseases, and approximately 50% of the people affected by the rare diseases are children. To make it even more difficult for the rare disease patients, 95% of these diseases do not have FDA approved drug treatment.
Competition Analysis for 1001 Startup Ideas – Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases
There are a few government bodies and institutions like GARD (Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center) that help people with rare diseases and their family members about symptoms and possible cure for the diseases. It also helps them with the information about the healthcare professionals or researchers who have knowledge and expertise in their rare disease.
There are also a few new age companies that are using the power of the Internet and artificial intelligence to make the information more fact-based, rather than subjective. One such company is California based Mendel.ai, which automates matching cancer patients to clinical trials through medical history and genetic analysis.
Another company is XpertDox, which has built a list of expert doctors and top hospitals for 6000 rare diseases. Instead of using just customer reviews or subjective opinion of experts, they use a scientific algorithm for suggesting doctors or hospitals to the rare disease patients.
Pain Point & Target Audience for 1001 Startup Ideas – Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases
The target audience for the startup would be people suffering from ‘rare disease’, and the doctors & hospitals specialized in certain ‘rare diseases’. Rare disease patients spend years in discovering the real reason for their condition and then for most of these rare conditions there is no established treatment. There are only handfuls of medical professionals who studied or are doing clinical research on ‘rare diseases.’ A there is lack of awareness about these ‘rare diseases’ and their experts in common public and medical community, it becomes extremely hard to find one for your specific condition. Resulting in patients and their relatives hopping from one treatment to another in the hope of proper recovery.
As per a report on globalgenes.org, 50% of the rare diseases do not have a disease-specific foundation supporting or researching on it. Due to lack of proper channels to reach out to experts, we see many of the patients losing their lives even though there is someone who has expertise in the condition.
Value Proposition for 1001 Startup Ideas – Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases
The startup will establish a single platform to find all the healthcare professionals and hospitals specialized in ‘rare diseases’. The platform will not be a usual listing and review based platform, but it will be curated using publically available data on patents filings, published journals, social & networking websites, and online medical forums.
The people suffering from ‘rare diseases’ can easily find the healthcare experts for his condition using a simple search engine on the platform and access all the details, expertise and achievements of the professionals. This will save all the hassle the patients go through from doctors to doctors for years, and it can help save lives.
Business Model for 1001 Startup Ideas – Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases
The startup will work on big data based company model. Once the startup will collate all the factual information about healthcare professionals and hospitals specialized in ‘rare diseases’, it should make it available for public use through a search engine.
There are a few ways through which the startup can monetize. It can charge a small commission for every referral it makes to any healthcare professional or hospital, but the startup will have to maintain complete transparency in the information to avoid any conflict of interest situation.
Once the platform generates sufficient traffic, it can charge for ads from healthcare professionals and hospitals for special listing on the platform to give higher exposure. It can also integrate the medication and other allied services on the platform itself.
Thirdly, the startup can collaborate with the corporate research groups and help them find right audience and subjects for their clinical trials. The startup can charge a fee for the collaboration with the groups.
Way to Market for 1001 Startup Ideas – Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases
The startup must set up a process to collate all the publically available information on medical research and advancements from filed patents, reputed journals, medical forums and social platforms.
Once all this data is accumulated, the startup should establish a search engine based on network mapping to make the search engine more effective.
For the first year, the startup should only focus on the top 300 ‘rare diseases’ as they are reported to affect more than 75% of patients suffering from rare diseases.
Key Milestones for 1001 Startup Ideas – Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases
The startup should set up the process and accumulate all the data about healthcare professionals and hospitals in first three months. Later the startup should complete its basic search interface over next two months. By the end of the first year, the startup should target to reach atleast 30,000 searches per month.
Investment needed for Prototyping | Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases
The startup should look to raise around $100k from early-stage investors or any accelerator focused on Medtech or Big Data businesses. As most of the process of data collation will be automated, the startup should not spend funds on expanding team early and should focus it only on data collection and tech development.
Team Capability for 1001 Startup Ideas – Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases
The startup must have co-founders with experience of working with big data and data analytics; exposure to frameworks for distributed data storage would be beneficial. Another team member with experience of working on search algorithms would be a great addition to the team.
Investor/Expert Take for 1001 Startup Ideas – Platform to find Medical Professionals for Rare Diseases
With the growing network of healthcare facilities across the world and the advancements in diagnostic tools, we have realized that ‘rare diseases’ are not so rare. Globally, have around 350 million patients suffering from ‘rare diseases,’ and the number could be even more as there are large numbers of un-reported and misdiagnosed cases. The startup will have far more usability, and market in the developing and under-developed countries, where patients often remain puzzled about their rare conditions and medical professionals are equipped to handle the cases.
The startup can also work very closely with research groups doing clinical trails on ‘rare diseases’ and connect them with the potential patients for the trials.
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