rock health

Are Health Startups the Next Big Opportunity? (TCTV)

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Few people are satisfied with the current American healthcare system. It gets more expensive while innovations that actually improve the patient experience are rare. While there may be innovative new treatments and surgeries, basic functions like tracking health-related expenses or dealing with insurance companies to pay a hospital bill are still a pain.

Some well known investors are getting more interested in health startups. Marc Andreessen thinks healthcare is up next for transformation. Fred Wilson is more skeptical but says he’s in the “looking and studying” phase and compares healthcare to education, which he recently started investing in.

Rock Health is an SF-based incubator for health startups that was founded on the idea that there is a huge opportunity to improve the experience for health consumers. Last week, the company announced its newest batch of startups. Their goal is to assist health startups with issues the average non-healthcare, consumer tech company doesn’t need to address, like government regulations and institutional sales to health providers.

What are some examples of health startups? Omadahealth uses group-based programs to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes. Bitgym turns boring exercise into a fun game. Cake Health, a Disrupt SF 2011 Finalist, tracks your health care expenses and catches billing errors.

In the interview above, Rock Health co-founder Halle Tecco and program director Leslie Ziegler discuss what kinds of challenges health startups face and how they can help. Halle tells the story of what inspired her to start Rock Health. And they share thoughts on the biggest opportunities in the space.