The future happens very quickly and then…all at once.
—Kevin Kelly, author and co-founder of Wired Magazine
One of the major topics at this year’s Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) Conference in Orlando was the emergence of disruptive innovators that are already causing shifts in the industry.
Many of these upstarts and game-changers have already captured the attention of major health systems, which are beginning to incorporate these new technologies and approaches. Some are even forging partnerships to fill the widening gap between consumer demand and traditional healthcare.
Here are a few examples of disrupters that are making news:
For better access to providers:
- One Medical Group is a growing private physician practice with offices in major metropolitan areas. They offer a full array of services from family medicine and pediatrics to mental health and sports medicine. They charge an annual membership fee that gives patients same-day appointments which can be booked 24/7 via phone, app or online. Their physicians are board-certified, rank in the 10% on Yelp and have 35% fewer patients than the average to provide longer visits and more personal attention. They participate with most insurance companies and they offer 24/7 phone and virtual medical team support through their One Medical app.
- Heal: House calls are back with on demand internal medicine, pediatrician, urgent care or preventative care appointments in your own home, seven days a week. They provide the cost of the visit before you book your appointment, either the co-pay cost from your insurance or a $99 flat fee without insurance. They currently are in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
For more affordable healthcare:
- MDSave: Shopping online for healthcare has arrived. MDSave is the first online healthcare marketplace, bringing together patients seeking affordable, reliable care with providers offering high quality services at fair prices. Patients can compare local prices for over 750 procedures, save money and buy their procedures all in one place.
- Amazon is in the final stages of figuring out its strategy to get into the multi billion-dollar prescription drug market. Inside sources have hinted that the yes-or-no decision to start pushing prescription drugs online could come before Thanksgiving, according to a CNBC report. Amazon’s push into pharmacy is very much an “if” and not a “when,” sources say. The company spends years researching opportunities before it telegraphs its intentions.
Apps for improving outcomes & wellness coaching
- AMITA Health in Chicago has just begun offering their patients a health data app developed by TapCloud. The app connects patients and clinical teams in between visits. It simplifies complex care plans into daily steps and allows patients to communicate and record their health status. They get daily health reminders, instructions on surgery preparations, medication schedules, appointment reminders and other daily tasks recommended for them. AMITA Health is currently using it for joint replacements, anxiety/depression, stroke, bariatrics, pain and heart failure patients.
- Noom is a New York City-based health and wellness tech startup that uses mobile technology to help people lead healthier lives. They offer customized online coaching and an app to help clients lose weight. Their plans come with 24/7 personal support, a customized diet plan and unlimited access to a health professional. Cost varies based on length of time you participate. Aetna, Aurora Health Care and New York Presbyterian hospital are offering this coaching service to their clients.
This list is hardly comprehensive of the innovations that are being developed, but it does give a sense of the scope and speed of the changes in our industry. While most health systems lag behind when it comes to planning and developing strategies to meet consumer needs, those that embrace this new generation of innovators will be ahead of the curve when it comes to patients’ health.