This photo was sent to me by a friend who was attending an investor event hosted by Forbes Magazine in Silicon Valley. It depicts part of a slideshow presentation detailing the biggest future trends investors should know about, and the number-one trend is functional medicine.

There’s a lot to learn from this slide. Most importantly, it validates what so many of us have known for such a long time: We are in the right place at the right time with the right medicine for the diseases that ail us.

With investor capital behind us, functional medicine is set to grow exponentially in the next decade, and you’re already ahead of the curve with an understanding of the power of root cause resolution medicine. This is only the beginning, and as the rest of the world catches up with us, the practice of functional medicine in its many forms will grow beyond our wildest expectations.

How do you prepare for this seismic shift in medicine? Here are four steps to take:

1. Package. First, you must package your services. One of the weaknesses of integrative and naturopathic medicine is that it is often more of an art than a science, based on the preferences of the practitioner…and every practitioner is doing it differently. To get investor attention, services must be packaged and organized in a consistent way, ideally with the same process being done every time. This doesn’t mean protocols can’t be individualized, but think about putting people in buckets (based on cause, for example), rather than a completely individualized solution.

2. Deliver actionable results. Tracking patient outcomes and focusing on delivering consistent results is paramount to furthering the practice of functional medicine. We have been talking about tracking outcomes for years, but you can get away with just getting testimonials if you run a brick and mortar clinic. Investors want data, and the most exciting data will be tracked outcomes of your service.

3. Determine who will pay. Insurance? Cash? An employer? All three options have unique benefits and risks. Taking the time to learn about the pros and cons of each will help you make an educated decision on this important component of your service. Most likely, you will need to prove your results with a cash-paying audience, and there is a ripe opportunity for this in the current market. Selling to insurance and employers is a much longer sales cycle than individuals parting with their cash.

4. Prep for Investors. There are definitely significant pros and cons to taking on investors for your project. The relative sophistication of the investor will determine the terms, but as a general rule, you want to get as far as you can without taking money from anyone except friends and family. The further your business is, the better terms you can command. Once you have your core processes in place, consider partnering with investors who believe in your vision and can help you take it more people faster.

What are you doing to get results and prep for this emerging trend in medicine? Tell us in the comments!


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