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Could This Be a Way for Health Start-Ups to Scale?

Start-ups focusing on workplace health services are appealing to companies looking to cut costs.
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While there seems to be a slew of new health start-ups these days, many of them face considerable challenges when it comes to scaling.

But, according to a new report in Venture Beat, it seems that wellness management start-ups, such as Keas and ShapeUp, seem to be hurdling some of these barriers to success by scaling through other businesses. These start-ups focus on office-wide health initiatives and workplace wellness services which appeal to employers hoping to cut costs.

The article estimates that the market for workplace wellness services could be worth between $2.7 billion and $8.2 billion per year and that employers have access to about 50 percent of the population--attractive figures to health start-ups seeking a consumer base. 

According to Venture Beat, over the next 20 years, mental health issues will account for $1.6 trillion and cardiovascular diseases will account for $389 billion in productivity losses. 

Additionally, under the Affordable Care Act, businesses are being reimbursed for workplace wellness programs at higher rates than in the past, meaning wellness services provided by these start-ups could cost employers little initially, and also save businesses money in the future, reports Venture Beat. 

The article does note, however, that it has been difficult to identify the actual return on investment numbers associated with the implementation of these types of programs. 

IMAGE: Getty
Last updated: Aug 1, 2013

ABIGAIL TRACY

Abigail Tracy is a staff reporter for Inc. magazine. Previously, she worked for Seattle Metropolitan magazine and Chicago magazine.




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