Digital healthcare is on the rise; you’ve seen it in wearables technology and mobile solutions. You can even see a doctor without going into a doctor’s office. “It doesn’t stop with telemedicine,” says Katie Niekrash, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Healthcare division. “Digital healthcare also includes new companies developing solutions with artificial intelligence, genomics and genetic testing, as well as population health management. These companies are here to challenge the status quo in our healthcare system, and they’re providing exciting opportunities for professionals in the process.”
These digital health companies are often startups who are looking to disrupt the market and improve healthcare services for consumers. “New York City is second only to San Francisco in digital health companies,” explains Katie. “This means that professionals in New York have a lot of new opportunities that are very different from more traditional healthcare roles.” However, for an industry that still relies heavily on paper records, this also means that many of these roles require a critical shift for those who are interested. If you’re curious about exploring opportunities at digital health companies, Katie recommends to start by asking yourself these questions:
Are you tech-savvy?
While understanding EMR (Electronic Medical Records) systems like EPIC is becoming standard for healthcare professionals, joining these digital health companies will require a higher level of understanding of technology. “These companies are using complex programs and algorithms, hiring engineers and data scientists in addition to healthcare professionals to build a premium product or service,” says Katie. “While you wouldn’t be expected to know everything on the technology side, healthcare professionals at least need to possess a strong desire to learn, as well as a proven ability to learn quickly. This will set you apart from your competitors.”
Do you believe in what the company is doing?
These organizations are being created because they see vulnerabilities in our current healthcare system, where critical consumer needs are not being met. “They’re breaking rules, they’re cutting out middlemen, and they’re finding new solutions no one has ever tried before,” says Katie. “As a result, they are looking for employees who truly believe that what they are doing will improve healthcare and wellness for people.”
In doing so, these companies are not looking for people who will stop and say, “But this is the way it’s always been done.” They are looking for people who will ask, “Has anyone tried doing it this way before?” For healthcare professionals who may be frustrated with the stagnancy of the healthcare system, pursuing a new opportunity with a digital healthcare company can be a revitalizing experience.
Are you flexible?
While a healthcare professional working in a facility often has a more defined role, this is not the case in a startup environment. Startups rely on teamwork to solve problems and complete tasks with what is usually a small team. “In any startup, most employees wear several hats, and you may be expected to do work that is not necessarily defined in your role,” explains Katie. “This can be a frustrating change for some professionals who are used to more structure in their day. On the other hand, many who are used to the rigidity of a more traditional healthcare role will find the freedom of defining their role very rewarding.”
Additionally, Katie reminds professionals that startups often can’t offer as much compensation as larger organizations. “These companies are typically dealing with limited funding in their initial years. As a result, they can’t always offer top dollar for each new hire,” Katie says. “However, they often compensate with great perks and equity offers that will grow over time as the company grows.”