Our research team breaks down this week’s top healthcare news.
In an age of unprecedented change, staying current has never been more important. Our team at Chartis is curating news most relevant to the healthcare industry and tracking the topics that are trending on seven key issues: high reliability care, digital and advanced technology, financial sustainability, health disparities, the health ecosystem of the future, partnerships, and the provider enterprise. Each week, we break down what’s happening and why it matters.
Healthcare disruptors have been a hot topic of discussion in recent years. Traditional players in the healthcare ecosystem like hospitals and health systems, commercial insurance companies, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, and medical device providers have been considering and preparing for the potential impact of non-traditional players and start-ups entering healthcare.
Big tech and retail companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft have all made moves into healthcare in various ways based on their strengths: Amazon is leveraging its distribution channels with PillPack and its customer base with its new on-demand care delivery platform Amazon Care. Apple is focusing on devices that help monitor and maintain health, building on its expertise in developing sophisticated consumer tech devices like the iPhone. Start-ups are introducing new forms of care delivery, such as One Medical’s alternative primary care model or Dispatch’s on-demand in-home care model. They are also entering niche parts of the healthcare landscape, such as Noom’s behavioral change app and Capsule’s online prescription ordering and home delivery system. These new players are improving access to health maintenance, therapies, and healthcare delivery but also disintermediating traditional referral channels and capturing business from the legacy players.
A new class of potential disruptors is emerging, and until recently most have been flying “under the radar,” as described in a recent report by Rock Health. Dollar General has announced that it will launch healthcare clinics in its stores, which are largely in rural areas — changing the landscape of rural healthcare access and delivery. Bose launched sophisticated hearing aids. Lululemon has acquired Mirror, an at-home fitness company. Best Buy has acquired Great Call, which supplies safety devices for aging in place.
The impact of disruptors and new entrants could help improve health and healthcare in the United States, but that impact also may have negative effects for legacy players, and those entities will need to consider these new actors in planning for the future. In some cases, ceding a small segment of patients or business to these “disruptors” may be acceptable. However, traditional healthcare organizations may need to re-imagine current offerings and operations in order to compete for the larger segments, which may require partnerships and other collaborations, as opposed to making changes organically, which will likely be difficult and take time.
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