The Healthcare Industry, Disrupted
Over the past few months, several technology companies have announced partnerships with healthcare corporations, pushing the industry into a new era of innovation and disruption. Last month, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced they’re forming an independent healthcare company to serve their collective employees in the U.S. The aim is to leverage and develop technological solutions that can provide streamlined healthcare for the three companies’ employees, at a lower cost than traditional healthcare. Late last year, CVS Health announced a purchase agreement with Aetna to combine the drugstore and health insurer in the U.S.
Healthcare is no doubt a complicated and complex industry with public and private organizations, local and national initiatives as well as political entities all intertwined – in fact, spending on healthcare accounts for nearly 20 percent of the U.S. GDP and healthcare is now the biggest employer in the U.S. What interests us in particular at Cogito is that these recent changes are a move to help people live healthier lives and access medical care through innovation. What we are looking to better understand is the role technology and innovation can play in providing good healthcare in the U.S.
The Shifting Role of Tech in Healthcare
Before our very eyes, consumer digital health adoption has gone mainstream. Wearables and mobile health apps have been accepted as commonplace with most people sporting FitBits and Apple Watches to monitor sleep, exercise and more. While some are wary of the use of artificial intelligence to diagnose and treat patients, the demand for such technologies has skyrocketed, leading many to believe that continuous innovation in healthcare through technology will only continue to accelerate.
There are now many companies striving to improve the healthcare industry with new innovative technologies. One such example is Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robot, which allows for minimally invasive surgery while still allowing doctors the dexterity and control they need to operate. Doctor on Demand provides access to doctors 24/7 over live video, who can send prescriptions to a patient’s pharmacy without them ever having to step into a doctor’s office. Healthcare plans are working hard to improve the interactions they have with their members with the ultimate goal of ensuring members are aware and participating in the programs that will help them maintain long term health. One such example is Humana’s use of Cogito’s emotional intelligence technology, which provides service representatives with speaking guidance to build a more empathetic and trusted relationship with each member. Through these honest and transparent conversations, members learn of optimal plan usage and take recommended actions, trusting the plan is operating in their best interest.
Change is the New Normal
There is no more compelling reason for innovation than helping people live happier, healthier lives. At Cogito, we anticipate the pace of change within the healthcare industry to continue to accelerate, with new corporate arrangements like those being led by traditional leaders United Healthcare, Anthem and Humana as well as non-traditional leaders such as CVS, Amazon and Walmart. Providing new ways to access care, maintain a healthy lifestyle, consume medication, treat illness, and finance treatments is becoming paramount to healthcare companies success, which is why we are committed to developing innovative technologies to complement this trend.