Disruption in Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry is no longer what it used to be a couple of decades ago. It has grown in leaps and bounds in ways none of us could have imagined back in the days. Today, we live in a world where the patient is also a customer. They expect or even demand advanced services from their healthcare provider that goes well beyond typical diagnostics. As with most other industries, convenience and ease of accessibility have taken center stage in the growth of the healthcare industry.
Doctors, health organizations, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals are all turning to highly advanced technology for delivering healthcare services that can keep up with the patient’s expectations. We know that the use of highly advanced technology has taken us eons ahead in healthcare. The advancements we have made in the medical field have enabled doctors and other healthcare professionals to perform even the most delicate procedures and high-risk surgeries with utmost safety.
What is even more promising about incorporating technology into healthcare is that this role is more than likely to gradually increase in the coming years, and the general public will greatly benefit from it. The changing landscape of today’s healthcare industry is predominantly shaped by technology than anything else. In other words, the advancement in technology and its integration into the healthcare operative and administrative procedures is disrupting the industry.
This article will take you through the disruption in the healthcare industry caused by the adoption of advanced technology. Some of the major healthcare service providers around the globe are now using healthcare industry disruptors to stand out from the rest and to provide better service to their patients. We discuss the ideal qualities you should look for in healthcare disruptors. We also discuss the role of healthcare disruptors in the future of the healthcare industry and how you can make the most out of it.
What Is a Healthcare Disruptor?
Healthcare disruptors can be defined as services or companies that create a visible shift in the healthcare industry by bringing in significant changes that redefine how healthcare is delivered to the patients. This is accomplished by integrating new and advanced technologies that can streamline the already existing processes. Bringing in such a big change will naturally alter how healthcare is delivered to patients, possibly on a fundamental level.
Some of the biggest healthcare disruptors that you may be familiar with already include CVS and Aetna, and even Amazon. As some of you may already know, it was only last year that CVS acquired Aetna. But, what you may have missed about this acquisition is that CVS has made it clear that it will be focusing its efforts on making healthcare services don’t rely on hospitals and emergency health services. So far, CVS has held on to its word and successfully shifted the customer healthcare experience to online mediums.
In the meantime, Amazon invested in health disruptors so that they could effectively improve the healthcare of its employees. To do this, Amazon created Haven in partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan. Even Apple joined the club when it introduced its Health app. The Health app from Apple made waves in the healthcare industry due to its numerous abilities. But, perhaps the most noteworthy feature in the Health app was its ability to integrate its health information into EHRs or Electronic Health Records.
Now that we have discussed what exactly is healthcare disruptor is and taken a look at some of its examples, it should be clear that any innovative solution can be a medical disruptor. The only condition that a smart solution must satisfy before being classified as a medical or healthcare disruptor is that they have to benefit or streamline the operations of a healthcare service provider. However, there are certain qualities that healthcare organizations look for in a disruptor which will be explained as you read on.
What Are The Qualities You Should Look For in Healthcare Disruptors?
The ideal healthcare disruptor is born out of a great idea, but it can only succeed if it is executed in the best possible way. You can look for certain aspects in a healthcare disruptor to ensure that one you select for your healthcare business can effectively serve its purpose. Below, we discuss some of the qualities you should look for in a healthcare disruptor before you employ it for your healthcare business.
It Must be Groundbreaking
The first thing you need to make sure of before employing a healthcare disruptor is to make sure that the service is, in fact, capable of disruption. In other words, the healthcare disruptor you choose must be groundbreaking in one way or another and must accomplish a goal in a better way. A good healthcare disruptor asks itself the question, “Is this really the best way to do it? What can be done to make this better?”
Take the example of Haven Healthcare from Amazon, for instance. Amazon built Haven because they dared to ask themselves the question, “what is the best way to deal with a healthcare system that could not work equitably for all its employees?” As a result, they were able to come up with a unique solution that worked perfectly for the company and its employees. More often than not, asking the right question will reveal how apt a healthcare disruptor is for your unique needs.
Regardless of whether or not you support Amazonization, it is a fact that Amazon, with its innovative solutions, has changed different aspects of our lives. But, it is still unlikely that any of us would have seen Amazon making its ripples in the healthcare industry. That is until they introduced Haven Healthcare for their employees. Such a solution was not just new to the Amazon employees but also to the world as a whole. By doing so, Amazon was able to shape a new culture in the corporate and healthcare circles.
It is true that only a very few healthcare disruptors can bring about a massive cultural change such as the one brought by Amazon. However, it is still possible for you to determine the scope of a cultural effect of the disruptors for your healthcare business in a more localized manner. In other words, you can look for healthcare disruptors that can make access to healthcare services easy and convenient with lesser confusion while also reducing the cost incurred on the patients.
We have already established that healthcare disruptors have big ideas about what needs to change in your healthcare business. However, that does not mean you select such a healthcare disruptor, and that will automatically make your healthcare business unique or innovative. The hiccups of integrating new technology to healthcare conversation apart, you still need to convey to your patients that their health comes before everything else, and this can only be achieved through authenticity and transparency.
Authenticity has always been a prominent consideration factor for customers, and it has an even more important part to play when it comes to healthcare. Ensure that the healthcare disruptor that you use is transparent about their pricing models and their policies. You need to let your customers know what exactly they are paying for and what they get in return. Therefore, it is quintessential to be transparent with your customers through every step, especially if you are introducing something new.
Revamped Business Model
It is no secret that the business model of all healthcare organizations, including hospitals, has not changed and has remained consistent throughout several decades. Consistency may be considered good in most situations but not in this one. Why? Because anyone who has had to deal with the healthcare system knows that the legacy business model involved in healthcare is confusing. It almost always has unexpected costs and offers limited services at times.
So, when you are picking a disruptive technology in healthcare, you need to make sure that it can revamp the existing business model. The new model, as we have mentioned above, must be transparent but also convenient. Healthcare disruptors are already aware that the existing system is not ideal and that it can be better, so if the one you choose can not disrupt the legacy system, then it isn’t really worth it as a healthcare disruptor in the first place.
Therefore, before you make up your mind about employing a specific healthcare disruptor, you need to make sure that it can add value to your healthcare service. Even if the business model implementable through the disruptor is unconventional if it can get you the desired result and minimize the confusion for your patients or customers. Healthcare organizations partner with gyms, nutritionists, and others that take care of the patient/customer’s needs and keep transparency about their role in their well-being.
Equipped for Ongoing Changes/Enhancements
There is no point in employing advanced technology for your healthcare system if the advanced system itself is incapable of advancing with time. Your healthcare disruptor needs to be able to grow and shift with the industry. We live in an age where technology is actively enabling the healthcare industry to evolve with each passing day, and your disruptors need to be flexible enough to change or evolve to accommodate new technologies and systems.
As almost all disruptors use advanced technology and are equipped with capabilities to assist the healthcare industry in more ways than one, there shouldn’t be a problem finding a solution that fits the description. However, the onus is upon the healthcare organization to ensure that the disruptions in the healthcare industry can work in tandem with their existing system as well as work flawlessly with the potentially new and changed systems.
Disruptions in The Global Healthcare Industry
The United States is without question one of the healthcare leaders and, by extension, the leaders in healthcare disruptors as well. While it is true that many of the leading healthcare disruptors have already become popular in the US healthcare system, there are still promising healthcare disruptors used around the world that are yet to gain popularity. Below we discuss some of these promising healthcare disruptions as well as potential solutions that can streamline the operations of healthcare disruptors.
AI in Healthcare Disruptors
AI has played a vital role in improving healthcare for patients around the globe, and its contribution in recent years has been nothing short of bewildering. AI can carefully analyze and report the most relevant information regarding a patient directly from their medical records. This enables doctors and other healthcare professionals to efficiently attend to their patients without any unnecessary delays. Even the treatment of severe diseases such as cancer can be made more effective using AI systems.
How? Because the key to treating a severe disease like cancer is early detection, and healthcare disruptors can help you do just that. One of the biggest advantages offered by disruptors in healthcare is that they can help doctors make faster diagnoses, and this further enables the patients to seek early treatment for their ailments. AI plays a vital role in this type of disruption, and in the long run, it can save you from expensive treatment costs apart from potentially saving your life.
IoT in Healthcare
IoT or the Internet of Things is a relatively new technology for the vast majority of the general public. Therefore, it is no surprise that IoT has not yet gained popularity in the healthcare industry. However, IoT has been employed in isolated cases as it has shown great potential in the healthcare industry, which can be greatly beneficial for healthcare organizations. Effectively using IoT in healthcare can provide you several benefits, and some of the major ones are listed below.
IoT enables doctors to monitor their subjects in real-time, which makes way for better quality healthcare for the patients and can save them a lot of time and money. IoT also enables the doctor or other healthcare professionals to serve their patients better as they get easy and real-time access to all the necessary information/data.
Finally, IoT also enables you to better handle drug management in a healthcare facility which can otherwise become a nightmare at times. This is accomplished by tracking medicines and supplies with much greater efficiency. As a result, you can effectively reduce confusion and ensure that the drugs are always accounted for.
3D Printing in Healthcare
3D printing has become somewhat common in healthcare, although this mostly includes prosthetics, medical devices like hearing aid, and even dental implants. Its ability to customize based on the unique needs of different patients makes it ideal for many medical applications. If utilized rightly, it can reduce the time required for surgeries and reduce several medical expenses.
In the years to come, 3D printing will play a vital role in the growth of the healthcare industry as it could potentially help to print out human tissues, including hands, eyes, and perhaps even hearts. Even with its current capabilities, it is able to deliver personalized casts and other equipment so that the patient can get delivered from the comfort of their home. The demand for 3D printing in healthcare will only increase in the future and has the potential to be a major healthcare disruptor.
Augmented Reality in Surgery
Augmented reality or more popularly known as AR, is among the latest additions to the advanced technologies that are now being adopted by the global healthcare industry. The scope of augmented reality in healthcare is so big that it can even be used for surgeries or other complicated medical procedures. Furthermore, AR is also employed to guide the surgeons who are still in training step-by-step through procedures that can be a valuable learning experience for them.
The AR technology can use the patient’s CT scans and MRI data for coming up with an overlay of the patient’s physical anatomy. This means the doctor or healthcare professional can get a more accurate picture of what is happening regardless of whether it is for educational purposes or for the actual surgery. The doctor or healthcare professional carrying out the surgery can even view the patient’s muscles, bones, and internal organs even before the operation get started.
Access Healthcare From The Comfort of Home
Healthcare you can receive without leaving the comfort of your home is not a new idea. However, the use of advanced technology in healthcare has made remote care much bigger than it ever used to be. Also known as telemedicine or telehealth, remote care has made significant improvements. As a result, the elderly and people who have a hard time physically reaching a healthcare facility (including people living in remote areas) to access proper healthcare treatment.
Remote care enables you to communicate with doctors without physically meeting them and ensures that the patient gets an immediate medical response, especially during emergencies. Remote work effectively saves valuable time for both the patients as well as doctors. With hyper-advanced tech like AR gaining popularity, it is only a matter of time before most of us switch to remote care for our day-to-day healthcare needs.
Automate Offline Communications
Offline communication is yet another aspect of the healthcare industry that has got greatly transformed thanks to technology. The healthcare industry has always used offline communication channels for sending important documents and reports to their patients. A few years ago, if someone had told me that offline communications such as direct mail would be optimized through an online tool, hardly anyone would have agreed.
But as it happens, we now have access to tools with advanced automation capabilities for sending direct mail. This means healthcare organizations are able to automate their offline communications to send test results, health reports, and other offline paper communications in a more efficient manner. Automation of your offline communications like the direct mail you don’t need to bother writing a report for each patient, have it printed, and then send them in a sealed cover because the system will do it for you.
Advanced direct mail automation systems, such as PostGrid, even come equipped with features like CASS-certified address verification. The address verification enables you to make sure that the address provided by the patient is real and deliverable by the USPS, which can increase your deliverability by 99%. This means healthcare organizations can be sure that the important medical reports, test results, etc., will be safely delivered to their patients. Furthermore, you can also use such disruptors for better marketing as tools like PostGrid also have capabilities like geocoding and advanced insights for better targeting.
The Role of Disruptions in Shaping The Future of Healthcare
Experts believe that in the next decade, the healthcare industry will be more customer-centric than ever and will make use of tech-driven solutions to serve the patients better. For the foreseeable future, the healthcare industry will try to make its process more customer-centric. Apart from this, the healthcare industry will also focus on the evolution of value-based healthcare and how it can be made affordable to everyone. Coupling these with advanced technologies for analytics and tracking is sure to make some waves in the healthcare industry.
Modern-day consumers are much more involved in their healthcare choices than ever before, and therefore it is only natural that the healthcare industry keeps up with their needs if they wish to survive. Healthcare is now as big a business as any, and it is high time that we treat it for what it is. Customer-centric services enable more convenient access to healthcare services, and a typical consumer will always choose convenience over everything else.
Like all consumers, healthcare consumers also want value for the services that they receive. Therefore, it is important that you provide value-based care to your patients, but that does not mean that you get to compromise it entirely on the quality of service/care. Many executives in the healthcare industry are convinced that the payment models in the industry are bound to become more outcome-centered with better transparency and access to data for the customers.
Healthcare is one of the fields that has largely remained ignorant to new forms of business operations. Although it did incorporate new technologies into its operational and administrative management, the basics never really changed. But, it is very likely that we will get to see some major changes in how healthcare organizations work, which is especially evident ever since the pandemic hit us. Healthcare services will become more accessible through advanced technologies, and data science infrastructure is set to revolutionize how healthcare works for each and every one of us.
Disruption in the healthcare industry is inevitable now that the role of technology in healthcare has reached a stage where it is inevitable. While technology was always a part of healthcare in the case of hi-tech machinery, its applications were relatively limited when it came to operative and administrative procedures. However, that has changed over the past few years, especially since the wake of the pandemic. As a result, Healthcare organizations have depended on healthcare disruptors that could completely change how the masses access healthcare. Healthcare disruptors can be any smart solution that can provide you a better way to carry any operating or administrative process for your healthcare business.
This also includes streamlining your offline communication, which still remains a major aspect of healthcare organizations as they still depend on direct mail for sending critical medical documents and reports. In addition, Healthcare organizations can make use of an advanced direct mail automation system like PostGrid to effectively manage their direct mail operations. The complete automation of the direct mail process saves healthcare businesses valuable time and money and ensures that their direct mail is optimized in every way imaginable, including deliverability.