Healthcare Should Learn From Big Box Retailers

June 20, 2017 By InTouch Health

What economists call “digital disruption” has a different name at Sears and JC Penney: annihilation.

Because of online shopping, Sears’ market value has dropped from $27 billion in 2006 to just $1.2 billion today. In that same period, Amazon’s market value has increased from $17 billion to an astonishing $428 billion.

The corollary for the healthcare field is that you don’t need to build thousands of new brick-and-mortar hospitals and clinics to deliver high-caliber care. Overspending on new facilities can be a financial albatross. According to Realty Trust Group’s Greg Gheen, real estate already accounts for about one-third of most hospitals’ balance sheet.

With telehealth technology, many hospitals don’t need to add a single square foot of new construction. Instead, they can leverage the expertise found at massive hospitals built long ago.

In healthcare, digital disruption on a large scale is just beginning. It’s gaining steam, however, from ventures like Health2047 and the Physician Innovation Network. The former is a San Francisco startup that aims to bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and the medical world. The latter is a group that connects tech-savvy doctors with today’s most promising healthcare entrepreneurs.

Northwestern Memorial health system in Chicago has already named Dr. Lyle Berkowitz to the post of “Director of Innovation” – and many health systems are likely to follow their lead. Northwestern is focusing on four key areas: telehealth, value-based care, workflow efficiency and the digital patient experience. Call it “disruption” if you like. We prefer to call it timely and smart.

Teladoc Health to acquire InTouch Health. Learn more.