Should Your Healthcare Startup be Virtual?

Should Your Healthcare Startup be Virtual?

Kids benefit from less homework. Ironically, their parents are doing it more and more. Doctors are spending more and more pyjama time on electronic records and it is burning them out.

Here are are the pros and cons of telecommuting. More than two-thirds of people around the world work away from the office at least once every week, according to researchers.

A study released Tuesday by Zug, Switzerland-based serviced office provider IWG found that 70 percent of professionals work remotely — a phenomenon known as telecommuting — at least one day a week, while 53 percent work remotely for at least half of the week.

But, when it comes to creating a startup, is doing it virtually a good idea? Here's how to create a virtual biotech company. Want to save thousands in your startup budget? Get a library card

Certainly, there are benefits. But, there are also potential downsides and challenges like:

  1. The challenges of working in global virtual teams.

  2. Building and measuring high performance teams.

  3. Not getting out of your house to identify and analyse market signals.

  4. Restricting your internal and external networks.

  5. Reducing the chances of innovation seeding serendipitous interactions with other people.

  6. Hampering your ability to build and scale a culture.

  7. Having to go to all those coffee shops for those nasty but inevitably necessary face to face meetings. Finding an electrical outlet or a phone charger there is another story.

  8. Running Zoom meetings with screaming kids and barking dogs in the background.

  9. Loss of productivity when Comcast interferes with your broadband service or your dog eats your cable.

  10. Having to go through an IRS audit because you screwed up your home office deduction.

  11. Getting too comfortable at home might cause you to ignore your cognitive biases.

  12. It's expensive to create an innovation space in your basement or spare bedroom. Plus, I mean, who decides what fabric to use to cover the sofa or whether to get a stand up desk or not?

Creating a successful startup is hard enough and will probably fail 90% of the time regardless of where or how you do it. Any computer knows that the success rate has more to do with whether you create a category killer than where you create it.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Co-editor or Digital Health Entrepreneurship

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  • Simon Hughes

    Digital is the future. It costs less to maintain a business. I recommend working in a proper office instead of using one at home.

  • Jeremy McDougall

    Thought provoking read

  • Peter McEntyre

    I prefer job security over uncertainty ;)

  • Arlen Meyers

    In reply to: Peter McEntyre

    Do you really think there is any kind of job security?

  • Peter McEntyre

    In reply to: Arlen Meyers

    I know I could get fired anytime but I have been working in the same company for 15 years.

  • Arlen Meyers

    Is there any job security any more?

  • Simon Hughes

    In reply to: Arlen Meyers

    I don't think so.

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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