The Passion Driven Physician Entrepreneur

The Passion Driven Physician Entrepreneur

A growing industry of medtech devices is fueled by the medical community moving into an entrepreneurial environment. In this new world of physician entrepreneur, there is a growing market of medical startups. According to David Shaywitz, in his article in ForbesWhy Physicians Are Turning to Startups, the short answer is passion.

In the case of today’s medical community, the range of available technologies that can turn into viable products is exploding. Attempting a high-stakes, medical startup is no easy task and requires a wealth of knowledge and a broad Rolodex. Physicians can be highly successful in medtech entrepreneurship if they can recognize that there is a proven process and that key resources can significantly improve their odds of success. As they do this, their new ventures will continue to present a compelling reason to call him or her away from “bedside” practice or allow them to at least supplement it really well.

Tangible Results

Some move into the world of technology not long after medical school and specialty training, while others make it a second career. Motivation varies, yet the most common factor among all who seek to invent a medical breakthrough have a passion and deep belief for their vision.

Very often the goal isn’t to blast on the scene with the next, big thing, but to create a tangible medtech product that will help patients, hospitals and physicians perform their tasks on a daily basis. According to Shaywitz, “Startups represent the purest distillation of the translational research ideal.”

An example of a medtech invention is physician Amir Belson‘s invention of a better way to insert intravenous catheters (IV) into a patient. According to Belson, about 60 percent of IV lines fail on first attempt.  “I knew there had to be a better way to insert a catheter and start an effective line into a vein.” Belson created his company, Vascular Pathways, and invented a needle with a “coiled-tip NiTi guidewire” that makes it a lot easier to insert into a vein.

Keeping The Model Practical

VentureBeat magazine lists 5 Keys to Success That Digital Health Tech Startups Simply Can’t Ignore. The report underlined that medtech entrepreneurs need to keep in mind that the product must be easy to use, not cause more work for a physician and provide actionable results.

The 5 keys include:

  1. Keep the workflow simple-don’t create more work.
  2. Allow the device to offer a “pay for performance” application as opposed to a billing service.
  3. Allow team members to be able to use the device, thereby relieving physicians to do other work.
  4. Create a device that improves efficiency, not more work.
  5. Help improve the relationship between physicians and patients. As medical insurance has changed, more patients are paying directly and choosing physicians based on their own criteria.

Growing Marketplace 

According to, the U.S. is the largest medical device market in the world, at $110 billion and will most likely reach $133 billion by 2016. The Department of Commerce (DOC) reported that exports of U.S. medical devices in key product categories identified exceeded $44 billion in 2012, more than 7 percent over the previous year.

There is no better time to jump in and improve healthcare. The expansion of technology, fueled by a fervor for innovation, has created a great opportunity for physicians with passion to invent medical technologies for the betterment of all. Coupling this passion with a disciplined approach will lead to more physicians being successful in their entrepreneurial endeavors and will give them new reason to put their great minds to work.

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