Digital Transformation is now the buzz word. While still figuring out what this actually means for them, many companies are announcing their major focus in this area and Chief Digital Officers are driving increasing number of board room discussions. Healthcare Industry is no different. While it is still a distant follower in these transformation trends, it is fast catching up and all set to come out with disruptive models in this decade

Before we talk about the impact that Digital Transformation can bring to the Healthcare Industry, let’s think of the following:

This list goes on…

What is common among the above is the fact that the market disruptor (now the market leader!) was a nobody at the dawn of the 21st century, changed the ground rules in the first decade of the 21st century and pretty much shut shops of the 20th century darlings in their respective industries by 2015! The other thing that is common are the core value propositions that these disruptors brought in:

Phew… this is just mind numbing

In my opinion, the same is set to happen in the Healthcare Industry. I think we have seen the traditional, non-transparent, highly inefficient health care systems for far too long. Over the past decade, the penetration of Smarthealth models and technologies have been quite palpable and I would dare to predict that in the coming 10 years, these trends will completely turn the current models on its head

Let’s look at some details by the type of care.

Primary Care

Smarthealth technologies are well set to transform the primary care (both acute and chronic) space right now. The technologies are now well matured and it’s only a matter of time, the transformation gains momentum. Remember 2007 for eCommerce?
Connected Devices and Wellness wearables have made enormous difference in facilitating rapid adoption of Smarthealth models in primary care
In a recent survey done in the US and Europe, 65%+ of respondents preferred the accessing primary care from the comforts of their home
85%+ of all medical visits (by absolute numbers) in this world are for primary care
75% of qualified physicians live in cities/towns where 25% of the population live. Do we need to further highlight the fertile ground for penetration of Smarthealth models in primary care?
Over the past seven years or so, primary care delivery through Smarthealth models have seen fantastic adoption in many countries like Israel, Switzerland, France, the UK and Spain among others
Secondary Care

This will closely follow the primary care route. If the Chronic problems like Diabetes, Cardio Vascular, COPD start to get well managed through Smarthealth primary care business models, the need for exasperated Secondary care will come down significantly
In addition, the penetration of Smarthealth business models in to secondary care is as easy as it is for the primary care
Tertiary Care/ Emergency

This is the big daddy when it comes to commercials in the healthcare space and hence the most vulnerable to disruptions.
Pre/Post Surgery, Critical Care, Rehabilitation care, Geriatric care, Radiology – all significant contributors of the said revenues are getting tremendous attention of the Smarthealth models.
The big hospital medical devices are giving way to smart point of care devices, putting the future of these monolith organisations at serious risk
While this segment will see a bit more a slower transformation to Smarthealth models, the disruption it can cause is perhaps the highest
12 storey bed-less hospital by Montefiore in New York, Smart ICUs across five states with 500 beds by Mercy Health, 100+ bed Smart ICUs by Aachen, Germany are all just tip of the iceberg
Now coming to what is required from the new age companies who are trying to disrupt this space. Healthcare is lot more personal than hiring a taxi through Uber; Trying out new models in healthcare is perceptibly far more risky than trying out a new Airbnb property; so the new age companies should not think that this is “just” a Technology Game. Uber and Airbnb actually created a community, new world, new revenue models, underpinned by smart technologies. I would want all the new age companies to think that any Smarthealth innovation and business model should lead to providing better healthcare to more people at a lower cost irrespective of the type of care provided (Primary/Secondary/Tertiary). If this becomes the fulcrum around which the Smarthealth technologies are built and Smarthealth business models are rolled out, then there is no stopping for this tsunami.

The healthcare Industry is at the cusp of something exciting. Better health for more people at lower cost will be the mantra for future. This is true for all Governments and for all people. This is true for Public Health and Private Health. This tsunami is going to be so big and so strong, it is simply going to wash away the over-confident and under-prepared companies/ hospitals/ traditional supply chains of this segment. I would dare say that by 2030, if we compare the top 100 companies by revenue in Healthcare (across segments), you will see 50 new names from that of the 2020 list.

Except Walmart no conventional retailer saw the “Amazon Tsunami”. Let’s see how many smart Walmarts are in healthcare. Jury is out…

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