24 Successful UK Healthcare Startups, And Why They Worth Your Attention
If there’s a startup sector that can benefit from the current pandemic, then it’s HealthTech. Companies with unique products and services for healthcare are preparing to boom. Although all teams face VC reduction, healthcare startups can potentially win. It’s typical for the USA market, it’s also valid for the UK.
According to UKTN, the British HealthTech sector received £1.8 billion in 2019, leading in Europe. There are 3,860 companies with a combined turnover of £24 billion. Overall, HealthTech is the second largest area of the technology landscape after FinTech. And there are over 100 startups that are quickly rising to become unicorns.
More precisely, Oxford Nanopore Technologies and CMR Surgical already crossed the $1 billion mark in valuation. And there are many more successful UK startups. In this overview, we want to show how these companies work, which technologies they use, and what are their success secrets. If you’re thinking about launching your own project, this info is a solid entry point.
Common Application Types Used in Healthcare
To understand how healthcare startups work, we should dig into the fundamentals. Put very simply, all these teams develop new products or services related to human health. In other words, they try to provide something unique and useful to make our lives healthier.
When it comes to exact solutions, we can define a few categories. Startup healthcare companies often fall into these sectors:
- Devices and IoT: medical gadgets, fitness trackers, monitors, and even automated systems like ones that deliver insulin based on data from sensors.
- Enterprise solutions: administrative software, electronic health records, predictive healthcare, Big Data solutions, cloud – there are many office tools.
- Insurance: existing on the verge of HealthTech and InsurTech, these startups facilitate interactions between clinics, underwriters, and customers.
- New pharmacy and drugs: these teams work on new drugs or treatment methodologies. They often use innovative tech, as well.
- Robotics: healthcare startups can develop robotic assistants for hospitals, robots who deliver orders, exoskeletons for patients, robotic limbs, etc.
- Telehealth: apps and services focused on remote healthcare. They include online consultations, file sharing, and event treatment.
Of course, the list isn’t exhaustive. There are classifications based on disease types like cardiac startups or mental health services. There are also dedicated FemTech healthcare teams for women or ones focused on kids.
Health Startup Map by Kelvin Chan
Another useful thing we can use is the map by Kelvin Chan, a healthcare specialist and startup co-founder. To classify UK startups in the HealthTech sector, we should identify the core bucket (or a few ones), and then find the exact area. There are four main categories: health coordination, health personalization, patient services, and payments.
Tech Stack Behind Healthcare Startups
Another important thing to know about startup healthcare companies is their technologies. All the languages, frameworks, tools, and systems used in a particular product form its tech stack. It divides into front end or client layers and back end or server layers.
To learn about technologies suitable for HealthTech teams, explore the list below. It includes key categories and a few examples:
- Databases: MongoDB, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL.
- DevOps: Bitbucket, GitHub, Docker, Jenkins, Selenium.
- Frameworks: Bootstrap, Node.js, Rails, Vue.js.
- Servers: Apache, nginx.
Note that there are no universal stacks. First things first, you should think about the purpose, goals, and values of your product or solution. Based on this analysis, you can define which technologies can help you to develop the desired system and implement the required functions. Below, we’re reviewing a few famous UK startups from healthcare. But don’t let others confuse you. Learn from leaders, follow your own plan.
Building a Succesful Startup – Famous Examples
Honestly, we wanted to define the top 10 healthcare startups. But there are a lot of successful teams in the UK so we ended up with this list. It includes 24 projects with brief descriptions, info about their unique offers, and payment models. By observing them, you can get the idea of how to kickstart your own solution.
The London-based team helps people to select the best doctors or clinics based on reviews. Users also can schedule appointments and even have video consultations. To get wider coverage, healthcare professionals pay Docitfy through subscriptions.
- Category: healthcare review platform.
- Key service: connect patients and doctors, provide rankings.
- Monetization model: subscription for healthcare providers.
This company focuses on a healthy lifestyle. It helps people to gain good eating and activity habits by following 3-month plans. The team relies on behavioral science and has partners in hospitals. Second Nature is also backed by the NHS.
- Category: habit changer, personal coach.
- Key service: custom eating & activity plans.
- Monetization model: paid plans: £120 or £180 with an activity tracker.
One of the most famous UK startups, BenevolentAI is working hard to treat all diseases. The team utilizes modern tech to find new drugs or treatment options. After funding decline, the company shifts its focus to the creation of new drugs.
- Category: AI/ML-based drug discovery and development.
- Key service: pharmacy research, work on new drugs.
- Monetization model: research funding, selling of the developed drugs.
The team wants to help different categories of clients through predictive AI services. iamYiam targets employees, organizations, and agents & brokers. Through the platform, users can build comprehensive health management approaches.
- Category: AI predictive healthcare.
- Key service: personal AI partner for individuals and companies.
- Monetization model: paid registrations and extra services.
This system is one of the healthcare startups for professionals and organizations. Physicians can manage their work using one mobile app for compliance, communication, jobs, and payments. Hospitals can manage their employees, as well.
- Category: healthcare workforce platform.
- Key service: app-based work management for doctors and clinics.
- Monetization model: service fee or paid subscriptions.
This team definitely should be in the top 10 healthcare startups. Thriva offers preventative services based on self-testing. A customer can choose one of 15 tests, use a simple device to get blood samples, receive test results, and track health data over time.
- Category: health testing platform and tracker.
- Key service: home-based finger-prick blood self-testing.
- Monetization model: paid tests or test packages, from £5.
This platform combines two highly useful services nowadays. Its main offer is the quick delivery of drugs directly to customers. Moreover, Zava works with professionals who review prescriptions or suggest the best treatment based on medical questionnaires.
- Category: online consultations / medicine delivery system.
- Key service: door-to-door delivery of prescribed drugs.
- Monetization model: cost of treatments plus delivery/service fees.
It’s the first of startup healthcare companies in our list that focuses on women exclusively. Currently, Elvie sells two personal health gadgets: Pump for silent and hands-free breast pumping and Trainer for efficient Kegel training. Mobile apps included.
- Category: healthcare devices for women.
- Key service: breast pumps and Kegel trainers.
- Monetization model: sales of Pump and Trainer devices, from £170.
The team aims at convenient self-care. Through Urban, clients can order sessions with professionals: yoga, fitness, gym, meditation, nutrition, massage, physiotherapy, grooming, etc. For in-person sessions, users can choose the desired location.
- Category: personalized wellness service delivery.
- Key service: in-person and online fitness, beauty, nutrition, and other options.
- Monetization model: paid professional services, from £15.
This is one of the UK startups in a popular niche. It’s similar to the aforementioned Zava platform. Through Echo, users can purchase and order medicine. All orders are reviewed by the related GPs. The service works with the NHS, has smooth tracking and notifications.
- Category: online pharmacy and delivery.
- Key service: medicine delivery, order tracking.
- Monetization model: cost of the ordered drugs plus NHS charges.
Here’s a unique entry for this list of startup healthcare companies. DNAfit allows users to check their DNA, get reports, diet, nutrition, fitness, and general health suggestions. The team has packages for professionals like doctors and trainers, too.
- Category: DNA testing platform.
- Key service: DNA analysis and health recommendations.
- Monetization model: paid tests, from £149 to £499.
The company provides all-in-one comprehensive work wellbeing services. It has 24/7 support, online health systems and mobile apps, medical information, relationship management, health assessments, stress prevention, and more.
- Category: workplace wellbeing platform.
- Key service: tailored plans and suggestions for employees and companies.
- Monetization model: paid yearly plans, from £4.27 to £750 per employee.
Back and joint pain is a common issue for many people. Hinge Health offers digital treatment programs based on physical exercises, personal coaching, and education. The solution is available for individuals and businesses that want to help their employees.
- Category: online training platform.
- Key service: exercises and personal coaches to cure back pain.
- Monetization model: paid programs, enterprise packages.
The team is aiming at revolutionizing personalized healthcare. The online platform and app allow users to check their symptoms through the interactive checker, analyze health, and monitor it. At any moment, patients can talk to doctors online.
- Category: online health check application.
- Key service: health checking and monitoring, remote consultations.
- Monetization model: paid subscription, £149 per year or £49 per consultation.
Startup healthcare companies often opt for apps. Your.MD does the same with the focus on self-care. It’s recognized as the class 1 medical device. It provides self-assessment tools, health guides and trackers, and recommended products.
- Category: all-in-one mobile app.
- Key service: health tips, guides, tracking, and assessment options.
- Monetization model: paid secondary services, distribution of custom AI technology.
Fitness healthcare startups are on the rise. Wexer combines digital and physical fitness worlds with its products. For instance, gyms can use Wexer Virtual with fitness classes or Wexer Trainer for pro exercise. And users have access to Wexer Mobile apps.
- Category: digital fitness systems.
- Key service: fitness instructions, exercises, broadcasting, and tracking.
- Monetization model: paid licenses for operators.
Similarly to Health Assured, this team focuses on improving the mental health of employees. Unmind claims that at least 15% of workers in each company have mental health issues. Thus, the startup helps through education, training, monitoring, and 24/7 support.
- Category: workplace wellbeing platform.
- Key service: mental health assistance, training, and analysis.
- Monetization model: paid plans for companies.
Many companies from the top 10 healthcare startups provide remote GP services. Patient Access lets users schedule appointments, order prescriptions, communicate with doctors using one online solution.
- Category: patient-doctor communication and management app.
- Key service: appointment scheduling, prescriptions, pharmacy.
- Monetization model: N/A.
This team promotes so-called scientific biohacking which is a pretty popular trend now. With bioinq, clients can get regular tests, monitor their health, and receive personalized empowerments through vitamin/microelement supplements.
- Category: personalized health system.
- Key service: health dashboard, testing, consultations, supplements.
- Monetization model: paid subscription from £250 per month plus paid supplements.
Unlike the previous company, this member of supplement-oriented healthcare startups is much simpler. Vitl offers personal consultations after which users can purchase the recommended vitamins through the same website. It also performs DNA and blood tests.
- Category: personalized vitamin delivery.
- Key service: online consultations and testing plus vitamin supplements.
- Monetization model: paid vitamins and DNA/blood tests.
Sleep quality is essential for personal wellbeing. Designers of Kokoon headphones claim that their gadget is fully protected from noise. It monitors the relaxation and sleep of users, provides sleep exercises and personal recommendations via the app.
- Category: healthcare devices.
- Key service: headphones for better sleep and relaxation.
- Monetization model: sales of headphones, from £267 per device.
The reviewed workplace healthcare UK startups focus on work-related parameters and assistance. LiveSmart assesses users personally, from the physical side. The team checks all the core organs and systems, helps with lifestyle and nutrition.
- Category: workplace wellbeing platform.
- Key service: digital health assessments, one-to-one coaching, support.
- Monetization model: paid 3-month plans, from £159 to £499.
It’s the second women-only product on our list. Moody Month helps users to live better through tailored lifestyle, nutrition, and wellbeing recommendations based on logs, stats, and the cycle. The app has guides, audio health patterns, and daily tips.
- Category: wellness app for women.
- Key service: personalized suggestions based on the menstrual cycle.
- Monetization model: paid secondary services such as vitamin sales.
The last of startup healthcare companies reviewed here is all about convenient fitness. Using the app, customers can access hundreds of workout sessions. Yoga, boxing, martial arts, dancing, cycling, meditation, and more – there are different options.
- Category: remote workout and fitness app.
- Key service: access to fitness lessons online, workplace wellness for businesses.
- Monetization model: paid workout sessions, paid plans for businesses.
It’s Possible To Compete With Unicorns
Phew! There are a lot of cool successful startups, right? But this diversity shouldn’t confuse you. Each company has its own story with ups and downs. What’s true is that all healthcare startups were at the starting point, with nothing but a bright idea and a strong desire to realize it. Still, the modern healthcare market is more competitive than earlier.
Entrepreneurs who want to launch own project should plan everything properly beforehand. As you can see, the majority of teams rely on technologies: AI, ML, mobile apps, online platforms, smart gadgets, etc. And if you’re going to build the next unicorn, we encourage you to pay high attention to software testing as it can save your product from many failures.
At the end of the day, never stop dreaming but think rationally. The stories of UK startups should’ve inspired you. So, probably, it’s a good time to start your project?