Healthcare Companies Are Now Technology Companies?

May 21, 2014
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healthcare techIn order to maintain a competitive advantage in the constantly evolving healthcare market, many organizations are investing in technology platforms that give them scalability to offer better tools, apps, and services. Even more intriguing is that these same organizations are diversifying their business model to offer up these services to other healthcare organizations and non-customers/patients.

healthcare techIn order to maintain a competitive advantage in the constantly evolving healthcare market, many organizations are investing in technology platforms that give them scalability to offer better tools, apps, and services. Even more intriguing is that these same organizations are diversifying their business model to offer up these services to other healthcare organizations and non-customers/patients.

This is a fundamental shift in the way in which Healthcare organizations operate. Historically, where Healthcare organizations were averse to technology, they are now recognizing the value of developing applications that not only solve issues for them, but can ultimately drive efficiency and improvements within the market.

Mayo Clinic (App for consumers)

The Mayo Clinic partnered with Social + Capital Partnership to develop a new application called “Better.” This application serves as a Personal Health Assistant, providing subscribers with access to Mayo Clinic expertise and a symptom checker. In addition, it grants 24/7 access to healthcare providers to ask a variety of questions such as finding new health and wellness providers or navigating health insurance plans and billing.

The app provides a platform for current patients to monitor their health, for outside consumers to be more engaged in their health, and for the Mayo Clinic to establish a new revenue stream.

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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (Analytics Software)

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center developed analytical software to look at health outcomes and measure the costs and resources used to produce those results. The goal is that greater transparency will get providers to modify practices to ultimately deliver procedures at the lowest cost possible. According to an article by Clint Boulton on in the CIO Journal on wsj.com, “UPMC’s solution, which cost between $5 million to $12 million to develop over the last two years, stems from a $125 million investment in enterprise data analytics…this investment is bearing its fruit in other areas: UPMC in December said has slashed readmission rates by 37% since it began using analytics to predict which patients were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.”

The pure size of the investment in analytics is a telling insight into the future of Healthcare. However, the fact that they are releasing this software to other organizations (with a fee of course) to realize the same data transparency is compelling and suggests a truly remarkable shift in mindset.

Another version of this model is where hospitals are actually offering up Software as a Service with respect to EHRs.

Fletcher Allan, Novant Health System. Cone Health

Fletcher Allan created a subsidiary corporation entitled PRISM Regional LLC. Through this LLC, they leverage their already sizeable investment and implementation of Epic to extend the offering to independent community hospitals and physician practices. Similarly, Novant Health System and Cone Health use Epic as well and offer the application to physicians as a subscription service. Essentially, these organizations are replicating a Software as a Service model as an offering to expand influence, coordination, and offset technology investments with alternative revenue streams.

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These models offer unique benefits to providers and smaller hospitals by providing much lower upfront costs (no infrastructure or license fees, just subscription), greater engagement, and more coordinated care by having consistency across local and regional areas.

The scenarios above optimistically reinforce that the Healthcare market is finally reaching a state in which collaboration and consumer health is the priority and only focus.

(Healthcare technology / shutterstock)