The Evolution of Healthcare

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates”

Healthcare is evolving, no-brainer right?  So instead of writing a long, wordy post about how it is changing, I decided to write a short post about what I have seen that works from decades of healthcare and digital experience.    I decided to also format this post in a simple, three bucket format.

  1. Make Transactions Simple and Brilliant:  I have seen so many Digital Health startups pitch my team that have great products with lots of features but suffer from complexi-itis or making the consumer experience overly complex with features and functionality.   We now know, with the Apple-ization of consumer experience, that simple is the new complex and everyone strives to be like Apple.  What I have seen is it is less about being like Apple and more about re-thinking your complex experiences and distilling them down to a MVF or Minimally Viable Feature set.  I am literally just making these words up on the fly but they make sense to me.  At Walgreens, the re-invention of refilling a prescription through Refill By Scan is a perfect example of re-imagining a process that used to take 10 minutes by phone or standing at a pharmacy counter.  Find your core task to accomplish and obsess about making it simple.
  2. Mobile and Messaging is Key:  The future of consumer health engagement is engaging the consumer wherever they want and however they want it.  The true story is that this engagement is now primarily through mobile apps and messaging applications.  Companies like @Healthgrid have figured out how to crack this code with text message enrollment upon admissions to the hospital and leveraging that text messaging post discharge to keep them engaged.  This is brilliant and just the beginning of seamlessly integrating text messaging into healthcare.  New studies are emerging indicating consumers are more and more likely to enroll in messaging for health then ever before.   This cannot be abused as digital messaging is the easiest messaging to “opt-out” of but if done write like @Healthgrid found, it can be a huge boost.
  3. Omni-channel Digital Medicine:  This is a no-brainer as well but I must identify the need for omni-channel as a must.  Having a flashy digital product that engages consumers is really only half the battle.  Having an offline support infrastructure is critical and  it should be seamlessly integrated into the online experience.  This is at the core of an omni-channel Digital Medicine strategy.  I believe we should integrate experiences to not only make the experience optimal but to do our job to make the patients life easier.  Going into Digital Health and Medicine should mean you have seen the problems patients face and have committed to make those problems go away.   Although many think of omni-channel in the context of retail only, I would challenge you to think broader and think hospitals, clinics, gyms and affiliate health organization locations.   All of these touch points are part of the overall experience. 

I will write more in the coming days but wanted to write this inaugural piece on these three core topic areas as I feel we must obsess about keeping it simple, seamless and on our patients terms not on the terms of our technology.