At Healthworx, our key goal -- and the root of every action we take – are to develop and promote solutions that bring equity and access in healthcare. Recently, the World Health Organization announced that its 2021 World Health Day theme would be: “Let’s build a fairer and healthier world for everyone.” This is the right conversation for the world to have, and the right time in history to have it.
This World Health Day, Apr. 7, as the world begins to emerge from a pandemic, we in the health industry have a real opportunity to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses and talk about where we should, and could, be by this time next year.
What does a “fairer and healthier world” look like? At Healthworx, we believe equity has three key traits:
- Affordability. Nothing threatens access to healthcare as much as the cost of healthcare;
- Personalization: People want and deserve to navigate healthcare effectively based on their personal needs;
- Fair Resource Distribution. What accessibility means downtown is different than what it means in rural areas. Fairer and healthier healthcare means people in different regions have access to the resources they need.
The healthcare and biotechnology industries are filled with companies working on truly cutting-edge ideas, but their progress and achievements can be considered only partial victories if these ideas and innovations do not address the glaring inequities in healthcare. A pervasive blindness to this issue, even as it has ballooned into a worldwide crisis, mars this progress.
At Healthworx, equity matters on World Health Day and every day. We invest in companies that put this horse in front of the cart and we believe the progress that will come from this approach will offer whole-picture solutions. The startups that interest and excite us offer healthcare ideas that incorporate equity and access into their DNA. We do this because we know it’s the right thing to do – and because we believe it will ultimately prove the most successful.
Just last week we notified applicants to our healthcare startup incubator, 1501 Health, of their acceptance into the program. For these early-stage companies, the rubber hits the road in just a few weeks. We’ve partnered with LifeBridge Health to provide investment and strategic planning assistance to help these companies develop healthcare solutions that align with Healthworx’s strategic vision for an equitable, accessible healthcare system.
Companies participating in the program receive investment and have access to unique mentorship and support from payer and provider experts, along with networking and educational events with other startups, investors and other stakeholders. We want gamechangers in healthcare, and we want the game changed so that everyone can play.
I am excited to see these companies take root and grow over the course of the year and see how their ideas disrupt and improve our healthcare system to make it more equitable and accessible.
At Healthworx, the conversation around equity – and the action to support it – happens every day. We’re happy the World Health Organization has invited the healthcare industry worldwide to join the conversation on Apr. 7, as long as that conversation continues into the next day and beyond.