In today’s digital economy, disruption is ubiquitous. It’s changing the way we consume everything—from products to entertainment. As consumers increasingly want personalised, on-demand services, healthcare is not immune. Now is clearly the time to expect the unexpected.
New ecosystems are forming
Lines are blurring across industries and new ecosystems are emerging. Non-traditional players are stepping onto the healthcare field. Startups, wearables and device manufacturers are converging to capture what is happening with consumers, and react in real time.
Developments such as virtual reality can disrupt traditional care by putting a virtual clinician in rural regions where there is a doctor shortage. Clinicians can safely hone their skills using gaming technology to practice performing invasive procedures. Anything is possible.
Getting ahead of disruption
Disruption can be a game changer if a business can predict it. Healthcare organisations must link up with those outside of the industry to seize new disruptive opportunities. The bigger the system gets, the more valuable it is. If the banking industry has mastered mobile payments, health plans should explore mobile apps that can make out-of-pocket payments pain-free for consumers. If companies like Spotify can successfully deliver music as a service—from car to home to phone—healthcare providers should also look at how care can be delivered as a service.
If health plans, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals continue to stay locked in old legacy models, they will lose relevance as the industry pushes forward at unprecedented speed.
UberHEALTH: Drive-up healthcare
Uber is now using its ecosystem to push disruption into new sectors—such as the recent trial of UberHEALTH in Boston. With its existing network of cars and customers, and a new set of skilled workers—registered nurses—Uber has been able to provide on-demand delivery of flu shots and similar vaccinations. Neither hospitals nor major pharmacy chains in the United States would have ever previously seen Uber as a competitor.