Healthcare Revolution In The Platform Economy
President of UNFOLD + CEO of The Academy of Tomorrow & keynote speaker. Helping leaders future-proof their career & organization.
If there is any industry worthy of platform innovation and disruption, it’s the healthcare industry. Advancements in inpatient care, unit productivity and service accessibility can be the difference between life and death. If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the healthcare industry must constantly build, prepare and plan for the unexpected — lives depend on it. This sense of urgency can and should be used to fuel innovation and change across the healthcare industry.
What is a platform business model?
The platform business model is a central infrastructure that facilitates the creation and exchange of value between players outside of the company. Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent are all platform businesses. Together, they are the top-ranked companies by market cap and worth over $6.3 trillion in market value, according to MIT Sloan.
Technology trends that are shaping the healthcare industry.
The healthcare industry has been a bit slow on the uptake in regards to expanding services through a platform business model. Patient data is overwhelmingly disconnected, scattered between insurance companies, general practitioner offices, specialist venues, pharmacies and elsewhere.
However, future-thinking healthcare leaders are beginning to champion a platform model — and it’s revolutionizing how we think about and access healthcare services. For example, there has been a rapid increase in on-demand apps. The platform business model is used to create a service that delivers immediate healthcare goods directly to customers through their laptops, tablets and smartphones. Platforms like Doctor on Demand and Talkspace allow customers to access healthcare services from the safety of their couch. Physicians and experts are being empowered to work their own hours, on a freelance basis or as extra income. Win-win.
Another technology trend to be aware of is the expansion of big data. “Big data” is how we describe the ability to pull information from various sources and compile it into a system that is easy to search, read and analyze. An example is Cognizant, which offers advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret the library of information in revolutionary ways. This smart analysis can do several things for providers and patients, reduce repeated data entry, decrease prescription errors, provide future staffing insights and facilitate preventative care initiatives.
Emerging types of technology are also being applied to opening new possibilities in healthcare teaching and diagnostics. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are now being used as physical therapy components and to help train doctors for advanced procedures. Medical Realities is a VR platform used to deliver continuing professional development (CPD) courses and diplomas to in-training physicians. Zion Market Research estimates that the global AI/VR healthcare industry will be valued at $5.115 million by 2025. This also includes virtual assistants, nurse robots and self-help chatbots.
Why should you invest in building a healthcare platform?
Disruptive digital healthcare platforms are the future. Healthcare leaders are investing in building platforms because they are a sustainable alternative to older systems of record-keeping and information sharing. Digital platforms take some stress off doctors, their staff and their physical facilities by automating simple tasks like booking and empowering customer self-service.
The assistance provided by these platforms can increase the number of patient care providers and expand the range of services they can offer. Not to mention how these platforms can help rethink client relationships. Doctor-patient relationships are being fundamentally reshaped by this new business model to highlight responsiveness, transparency, convenience and trust.
Maybe one of the most important functions of a healthcare platform is the expanding capabilities to champion a prevention-first strategy to long-term care. A benefit is achieved by leveraging big data and AI-driven analytics to enable doctors to shift their focus to preventative care. Healthcare platforms empower them to be proactive rather than reactive. Along with this, we will see more patient-centric services. At the heart of all of this, the patient’s needs are elevated. Free data flow, AI enhancements and deep analytics ensure they are getting the best care.
Then there are the workflow elements of platforms to consider in doctors’ offices and healthcare venues. Workflow automation through platforms can reduce administrative weight by removing repetitive tasks and automating record-keeping. This frees up healthcare staff for more specialized tasks. Additionally, we will see more integrated data flow: With data silos broken down, services providers, diagnostics departments and pharmacies are all on the same page immediately.
How to build a healthcare platform.
When building a patient-centric healthcare platform, you want to first design for the following key components.
• Patient-centricity: Ensure that you have multiple digital touchpoints that provide your patient with personalized and instant healthcare services.
• Prioritize API: This means data security coupled with flexible technology that integrates smoothly with other healthcare platforms. Interoperability is key. Systems must speak to one another for a holistic healthcare solution.
• Seamless data management: Platforms must collect and coalesce data in a way that is secure, meaningful, searchable and accessible. You can look to Master Data Management (MDM) experts like Ataccama and Profisee for inspiration, but others are also available.
• Powerful analytics capabilities: Your platform must be able to read and interpret data in meaningful ways. Robust reporting capabilities are a must, particularly for preventative care and diagnostic advancement.
Existing healthcare platforms that under stress become breeding grounds for innovation and forward-thinking change. Investments in healthcare platforms are getting bigger and bolder. Companies and conglomerates are making big moves, and healthcare stakeholders and leaders can’t afford to sit still. Rather, we should focus on understanding the makeup of the future platforms (high tech, big data and customer-centrism) and let that inform our next moves. The healthcare platform economy sparks signs of revolution during strife. It is time to carry the torch toward smarter, more integrated advancements.