Top 10 Sickcare Entrepreneurship Challenges

Top 10 Sickcare Entrepreneurship Challenges

Sickcare entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity with scare resources under conditions of uncertainty with the goal of creating stakeholder defined value through the deployment of biomedical and clinical innovation using a VAST business model.

Here is a list of what healthcare executives think are their biggest challenges. Finding solutions will be the job of biomedical and clinical entrepreneurs like these.

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The objective is to lower costs, improve outcomes and access and the experiences of patients and those who care for them. If successful, we will realize the goal of transforming sick care to health care i.e. preventing people from getting sick or those with chronic diseases from getting sicker prematurely.

However, there are many obstacles facing sick care entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. My top 10 are:

  1. Transforming sick care to heath care through public health and policy initiatives
  2. Creating a cybernervous system that is getting more open, interconnected and distributed using voice to text technologies, among others, like blockchain and the internet of medical things
  3. Educating and training healthcare professionals to win the 4th industrial revolution
  4. Transforming fee for service to value based practice
  5. Changing the behavior of doctors and patients
  6. Rethinking the medtech/techmed, digital health, care delivery and biopharma value chain
  7. Creating an IP, regulatory and reimbursement environment that catalyzes innovation but, at the same time, protects the public health and safety For example, how should the FDA regulate AI products and services? How should doctors be paid when they recommend the use of digital therapeutics?
  8. Recruiting and developing SCPs (sick care professionals) with an entrepreneurial mindset
  9. Eliminating the toxic innovation culture of corporate sickcare enterprises and value chain friction
  10. Enabling access to education, resources (esp seed stage money), networks, mentors, peer to peer support, non-clinical career development 

In the late 1800’s, three innovation platforms shaped the world as we know it today: the telephone, electricity, and the internal combustion engine. Today, five powerful innovation platforms are accelerating at the same time: DNA sequencing, robotics, energy storage, deep learning, and blockchain technology.

Overcoming these roadblocks will probably take generations and require radical restructuring of medical education and the US sickcare system of systems. Many have already taken the first steps of this journey of a thousand miles.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD.

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  • Andy Mitchell

    Tough challenges ahead !!

  • Eric Martin

    It will take years to overcome all these roadblocks

  • Rachel Cooper

    Changing the behaviour of patients and doctors is a tough one !

  • Chris Daniels

    This is so true

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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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