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Disrupters like Google and Microsoft are a symptom of healthcare's inherent problems. But in this case, the symptom might be the cure.
Healthcare has a tech problem. It’s slow to implement new technologies, slower to get its key players to adopt tech after implementation, and slower still to leverage tech insights to improve its ability to provide care.
What’s the logic behind this sluggish embrace? Does healthcare think tech is a fad? Is its intrinsic skepticism getting the best of it? Has it not seen sufficient payoff from the X-ray or the MRI? Or perhaps it thinks that current tools are good enough, and all it needs to close remaining gaps in care is the ingenuity of its overworked physicians?
Whatever it is, healthcare’s sluggish embrace of tech leaves it lagging industries like retail and finance — industries that place more value on digital tools, but are not nearly as wrapped up in our abilities to live healthy lives.
It has also put healthcare in a position of tremendous vulnerability. Outside players like Google, Microsoft and Amazon sniffed out healthcare’s gaping tech wound before healthcare could feel the pain set in, and they’ve already begun their very public entrance into the industry with much fanfare, despite the murkiness of their proposed strategies.
No one can say for sure whether looming outside disruption will be a good or bad thing in healthcare, but it is proof positive that the industry has more on its hands than it is able (or willing) to deal with.
This week on Data Book, we’ve pulled together five of the leading minds in digital health to explore whether outside disruption really can save healthcare. Their interview segment is a brief introduction to the much larger discourse of the first-ever Healthcare Analytics News Peer Exchange, which will roll out in brief, insight-filled video segments over the next few weeks. Be sure to check back for more.
Before measuring the current disruption situation in healthcare, we’ll take a look at an industry that found itself in a similar position nearly 2 decades ago — the music industry. In the early 2000s, music industry leaders had a monopoly on the airwaves – both radio and television – and a lucrative business model that placed their profits over the benefits provided to its consumers.
Many music listeners didn’t mind, perhaps because they didn’t know better. But the music industry’s backward priorities left it open to disruption. Soon enough, a digital tool entered the scene that cracked the shoddy foundation upon which the music industry was so precariously balanced — Napster.
What can Napster and the disruption of the music industry teach us about the future of healthcare? As it turns out, a whole lot! Follow Jack Murtha and Tom Castles on this week’s episode of Data Book for more.
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