Patients and innovators in healthcare
Updated: Jan 19
My last post demonstrated through an actual case how wearable health monitors and continuous patient monitoring are empowering patients and improving health management and care. These innovative technologies can help users and their doctors identify emerging health problems before they compromise good health and quality of life. They are also creating, to borrow from Christensen’s disruptive innovation theory (DIT), new planes of competition in healthcare that didn’t exist five years ago.
Companies like Walmart, for example, are developing and testing innovative care delivery models that frame patients as informed consumers seeking more convenient, accessible, and affordable services. The company’s strategy centers on in-store clinics with scheduled and drop-in services conveniently available during store visits. Walmart’s clinics transparently price services and routine procedures to help customers compare options and make informed care decisions. They also offer extended support services like active dietary counseling and behavior modification where nutritionists accompany patients during store visits to help them make healthier food choices.
Walmart is not alone. Other companies, including Best Buy, are developing similarly innovative customer-centered solutions. These emerging healthcare models can deliver more compelling customer value by integrating cutting-edge technologies, including remote patient monitoring. For example, BioBeat’s FDA-approved 24bp Blood Pressure Profiling Kit employs a cuffless blood pressure sensor, smartphone app, and cloud services to continuously monitor patients’ blood pressure over a 24-hour period. The data are analyzed by advanced analytics and artificial intelligence algorithms to create a comprehensive assessment of daytime and nighttime blood pressure patterns. This low-cost solution is ideal for quantifying hypertension and evaluating the effectiveness of treatments and therapies.
Innovative providers and care models will benefit patients through expanded options, easier access, and lower prices. Lessons learned across industries over the past 25 years suggest that incumbents will be challenged by increasing competition. Christensen, in The Innovator’s Prescription, concluded that disruptions of traditional healthcare were indispensable for reducing costs and improving outcomes. The Covid-19 pandemic is raising new concerns about the proper balance between efficiency, costs, and preparedness. Insights from our investigations point to innovative care models and technologies as the best alternatives for balancing these competing interests.