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The healthcare sector is an amazing place for aspiring entrepreneurs to open up shop. Exploring healthcare business ideas is smart for lots of reasons.
There’s an opportunity to do a world of good by serving an aging American population and helping those struggling with the national drug crisis. There are lots of new medical and technological advances, and widespread interest in health and wellness, too. And those are all great incentives for passionate entrepreneurs.
Plus, these factors combined mean there’s a thriving market for health-related businesses. Aspiring new business owners can turn one of many healthcare business ideas into a viable way to make a living, including those entrepreneurs who want to work remotely (like entrepreneurial moms, for instance).
This list of healthcare business ideas should get you started—and hopefully inspire you to explore starting a company.
Nationwide spending on health is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.5% annually through 2026. That’s one percentage point faster than the national GDP is projected to grow during that same time. Wow. By 2026, healthcare is projected to account for nearly 20% of the GDP. A lot.
Employment in healthcare-related occupations is projected to grow 18% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly half of the 20 occupations projected to have the highest percentage increase in employment by 2026 are in the healthcare industry.
What that spells is a lot of opportunity.
One big reason for the surge in healthcare spending: By 2030, the Census Bureau projects, approximately one-fifth of the population will be 65 and older. This will be the first time in history that the number of Americans over age 65 will surpass the number of Americans under 18.
Keep those numbers in mind as you look through this list of healthcare business ideas—and we think you just might see some of that opportunity for yourself.
Medical transcriptionists transcribe doctors’, nurses’, and other healthcare practitioners’ voice recordings into written documents for patients’ records. Speech recognition technology has definitely improved the efficiency of medical transcription, sure. But it certainly hasn’t yet replaced the need for human transcriptionists to review and correct the transcriptions to make sure they’re accurate.
This is a great business to run from home because you can make your own hours, and all of the work can be done digitally. Plus, if you’re digitally savvy and can create an efficient way to share files, you can really one-up the competition.
Start a service that manages medical records for hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices. You can work with clients to identify the best records management systems, implement them, and provide their staff with training on how to use the systems.
Another approach? You can offer a full-service medical records management, and clients can outsource the work to you. That would be helpful for boutique practices and sole practitioners, who need the organization but can’t afford the in-house staff.
Physical therapists help patients recover from injuries to regain their full range of motion and reduce pain. Occupational therapists provide more specific therapy to help patients perform tasks of daily living, such as dressing themselves or feeding themselves. You can specialize in one or the other, or put both under one roof. Note that this does require certification.
Both healthcare providers and individuals alike are increasingly turning to mobile apps to track, record, and manage medical conditions. The world is your oyster if you’re skilled in app development, so you might want to consider developing your own healthcare app targeting these markets. Do some field research to find out where your skills can fit a need.
According to the CDC, 9.4% of all Americans either have diabetes or are prediabetic. Opening a diabetic care center can help diabetic patients improve their quality of life by providing nutrition counseling, dialysis, and other medical services. You can also provide preventive help such as teaching healthy eating habits or providing support groups for diabetics.
A home healthcare service provides in-home medical care for recently discharged hospital patients, patients with chronic health conditions, seniors, and others who need assistance managing their health.
In states with rapidly aging populations, like Florida and California, not only could this be a benefit to the community—but also a strong business prospect for you.
A growing population of seniors and diabetics means more need for foot care services. Something as simple as trimming toenails can be impossible for seniors and overweight patients who can’t reach their feet. You can either open a foot care clinic or save patients a trip to the podiatrist by providing mobile foot care services in their homes or in a van. You’ll need to train as a podiatrist or hire one.
As drug use has escalated to become a national crisis in the United States, legitimate places for people to help overcome their addictions and rebuild their lives are needed more than ever. Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Open a drug treatment and rehabilitation center to help clients with drug addiction. You can specialize in different types of patients, such as juveniles or patients with criminal records.
Today’s expectant parents want to control every aspect of childbirth, and that often includes having a midwife or doula present at the birth. The use of midwives is increasing, according to the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Midwives are trained healthcare providers who assist women during childbirth, while a doula is more like a pregnancy coach who helps couples arrange all aspects of the birth and caring for the newborn. You can either become certified yourself or open a business that employs contractors under your umbrella.
Medical billing requires performing complex coding when submitting insurance claims. Certification is required in this field to ensure that doctors and other healthcare practitioners get paid—so, it’s a big deal as you might expect!
Although big hospitals and healthcare organizations often have in-house staff, small medical practices that don’t have time to manage billing and coding themselves are an ideal market for medical billing services. Acquire and learn medical billing software, get trained in proper coding, and target these smaller medical practices to take medical billing hassles off their hands. And you can even do your certification online.
If you want to help people improve their nutritional intake and habits, you can build a business as a nutritionist or dietitian. Only nutritionists who get a license with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) can advertise themselves as dietitians. Some states regulate nutritionists and others don’t.
You can specialize in different types of clients, such as sports nutrition, nutrition for weight-loss, or holistic nutrition.
Acupuncture and massage therapy are two alternative healthcare business ideas that are becoming more mainstream and popular. Many are using these services to supplement their traditional medical treatment—or as a primary treatment unto itself.
Check with your state to see what the requirements are to practice—they vary across the country. Even when health insurance plans don’t provide coverage, Americans are more willing to pay out-of-pocket for these types of care than they used to be.
If you have healthcare expertise—or access to people who do—consider starting a website to provide healthcare information and advice. You can create all kinds of content, such as podcasts, YouTube videos, and even online classes, in addition to blog posts.
You might even be able to get healthcare experts to contribute content for free in exchange for the publicity your site offers. There are a lot of options—just make certain that you do some market research to figure out the white space to fill, and find viable revenue streams to make your business highly sustainable, too.
Seniors, people with disabilities, and others with chronic illnesses have an ongoing need for medical supplies and equipment. This can include walkers, braces, bedpans, and more.
Although you can open a physical store, keep in mind that your target customers will often have difficulty getting to your location, so an ecommerce site is likely a better bet. Again, research here will be key so you can make sure that you’re stocking the right products and marketing in the right places.
Medical professionals who wear scrubs to work are always looking for affordable and durable uniforms. They’re also looking for stylish uniforms—and those aren’t as easy to find.
If you’re as into fashion as you as you are outfitting doctors, nurses, and medical staff, start a store selling scrubs, comfortable shoes, lab coats, and other gear for healthcare professionals. You can design the goods yourself or source them from multiple places, and encourage your customers with word-of-mouth incentives to drive sales.
Because hearing aids generally aren’t covered by health insurance, this can be a lucrative healthcare business idea if you find the right customer base. You might want to open a location to provide hearing tests, recommendations and hearing aid fittings and care. You could even outfit a mobile van to come to customers’ homes to clean and repair their hearing aids as an extra service.
Whether they’re parents caring for severely disabled children, or adult children caring for aging parents, caregivers have a stressful jobs. Provide a much-needed break for caregivers by starting a respite care business. Your caregivers can come in for a few hours or a few days, giving family caregivers a chance to rejuvenate.
As a growing number of states legalize medical marijuana, this $8 billion industry is projected to continue its growth, according to IBISWorld. Opening a medical marijuana dispensary can be a profitable business in the right location; however, changing state and federal regulations could affect your startup. (Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, of course.)
There are a lot of potential openings for entrepreneurs interested in the healthcare sector—and many opportunities for healthcare business ideas to become real, sustainable businesses.
Be sure to check regulations licensing, professional training, or degrees needed for these businesses before you get started, and do lots of market research. Don’t forget that “care” part, of course.