Upstart Scan - Bridging Gaps in Digital Health Partnership Strategy


Partnerships and new business models are a key driver of innovation in digital health. Established players with capital and market access are recognising the need for win-win partnerships, but find it hard to manage the signal-to-noise ratio in the market. That’s why we’ve created Upstart Scan.


At Upstart we’ve been immersed in digital health for over to four years now, and our extended team has deep experience in the sector and has driven some of the reference initiatives for new models.  

Last June we unveiled our Future Health Model for digital health at HealthTechXEurope.   Biomedicine will continue to innovate and evolve but we identified three other factors as driving the market: data science, behavioural psychology (strongly linked to a digital service layer) and lastly, business model innovation and partnerships.  

We believe partnerships will make the most significant impact on health outcomes.

We’ve invested in this aspect, and our clients and collaborators have included pharma, government, investors, start-ups and scale-ups of all sizes.

Common Challenges

We’ve come across the same types of challenges every time we guide a new player into an area of digital health. Key questions for new entrants have included:

landscape and understanding

-how many companies are in a specific sector of health?

-what enabling technologies are they using?

-how big are they, how fast are they growing and how well capitalised are they?

-are there any common themes and clusters we can see?



-how strong is the team and how long have they been together?

-what’s the science underpinning the innovation?

-whose problems are they solving - patient, provider or payer?


fit to strategy

-do they meet the criteria in terms of size and development (too early, too late?)

-are they a match for our investment thesis or stated strategy?

Noisy Environments

A key problem we’re solving is the signal to noise ratio in digital health innovation. As the sector explodes it can be a full-time job to keep up with the online journals, attend all the events or seek out potential partners in the innovation incubators, accelerators and labs.

There are database products out there offering access to  “every startup in the UK” or every company “we’ve ever featured”. Yet feedback from our clients and partners is that this is overwhelming. Yes, there’s an opportunity cost to missing something, but less is more when you’re trying to narrow down a list of companies in which to invest time or capital.

We’ve fine-tuned our process over the years and we’ve now found thousands of digital health and scientific companies in key markets. The lists which work best contain tens, rather than hundreds of thousands of partners, and our clients place high value on the fact that we help them narrow it down to a handful.

About Upstart Scan

So Upstart Scan was designed to address these problems, and it’s been proven to find and identify the right partners. We blend digital technology and deep sector knowledge to find relevant partners for your investment or partnership goals.  So what is it?

Upstart Scan is designed to be a simple subscription service with three elements:

Curated Tables:  Bespoke lists of "need to know" data on companies which meet your investment or partnership strategy. These can be online for you 24/7 or sent to you securely.

Info Sheets: Clear, 2-page PDFs for you to share with your teams and build common understanding. You can then use these to enable quick recall or sharing amongst colleagues.

Feedback Calls: Monthly deep-dives to fine tune the matches with your strategy. Based on this we can re-calibrate our scanning and create a better fit for your needs.

Want to know more?  

If you want to hear how Upstart Scan has built value for pharma and innovation partners, feel free to get in touch or download our Product Guide to find out how it works.

Dominic Pride