The Week in Disruption goes beyond the headlines to uncover the significance of emerging trends in healthcare and beyond.
Growing pains in Silicon Valley
Facebook and Uber, which mark their 15th and 10th anniversaries respectively this year, are both looking beyond their core businesses to secure continued growth in the decades to come. Facebook is building its own cryptocurrency. And Uber is positioning itself as the transportation company of the future, with eventual fleets of self-driving cars and drones, ahead of its initial public offering.
And they’re not alone, given similar recent moves by Apple, Amazon, and Google. As the Wall Street Journal notes, though, the major technology companies are increasingly crowding into the same spaces as their competitors. Take, for instance, Apple’s plans to start a streaming service that will surely compete with Amazon Prime Video, or Uber competitor Lyft’s own ambitions as a transportation vanguard. It also begs the question of whether aggressive growth and diversification strategies will ultimately steer companies too far beyond the initial vision and core competencies that led to their initial success.
Telehealth vs. retail clinics
For the last decade, retail clinics have posed an existential threat to physician practices and health systems as an inexpensive, convenient primary care option. But telehealth is quickly emerging as a faster, and potentially cheaper, alternative, and retailers, insurers, and health systems alike are all getting in on the action.
In just the last month, Target, Best Buy, and Humana have all begun offering new telehealth services and products, from at-home kits that allow patients to take their own blood pressure to video-enabled telehealth primary care visits. And St. Louis-based SSM Health is now offering $25 virtual visits for non-urgent health conditions within an hour of an appointment request for all residents of Wisconsin and Missouri.
Innovation at a glance
- Telehealth firm VSee aims to give physicians a clearer view of remote patients, with a new innovation that connects smart glasses to videoconferencing platforms
- The newly launched Association for Healthcare Social Media is devoted to “reinventing and accelerating the sharing of healthcare information over all social media platforms”
- A plurality of physicians (47.4%) are now employees of hospitals or group practices, outnumbering physicians who own their own practices (45.9%) for the first time, according to a new American Medical Association survey