Monday, August 30, 2021
This past week, I wrote a piece exploring the reasons why big tech firms seem to suffer big setbacks repeatedly in healthcare. Counting the Haven Healthcare debacle, four big tech firms – Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple – have had very public failures in the healthcare space over the past decade. Big tech is no stranger to failed experiments, and their core technology business seems to be doing well in the healthcare sector. However, something seems to go wrong when they cross the rubicon into core healthcare services.
In my article, I point to structural issues within big tech firms that stand in the way of the success they seek. Social media comments to my article – which was shared widely – provided additional insights. One former executive from a big tech firm pointed out that healthcare isn’t core to big tech, suggesting that the failures arise from a lack of real commitment to healthcare. Others pointed to misaligned incentives, faulting big tech firms for being more interested in making money off of healthcare data than on healthcare services. Some defended big tech firms, pointing out how they are already making a big difference through technology-enablement of care.
Clinicians pointed to the big gap between bench and bedside with technology-enabled care – in other words, the translational issues arising from trying to apply innovative technologies to patient care in real-time. They also pointed to the constant refrain that the current technology solutions often increases clinicians’ workload instead of reducing them.
Most readers agreed that the recent setbacks were more of a “re-calibration” than an abandonment of healthcare sector ambitions by big tech firms. As my friend Wido Menhardt put it, “It took many, many attempts before Everest was scaled.” And so it may well be.
In my latest podcast, Dr. Roy Schoenberg, President and CEO of telehealth major Amwell, makes several insightful observations on the current state of telehealth and the role of technology firms. I also asked him whether he thought healthcare is just too hard for tech. Take a listen.
Have a great week.
In this episode, Dr. Roy Schoenberg, President and CEO of Amwell, discusses the current state of telehealth in the U.S. and how its adoption is impacting the experience for healthcare stakeholders – consumers, providers, and payers.
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This Week in Digital Health Markets
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