Two important announcements (with different intentions) took place in the last month that will potentially impact the way we deliver ‘care’ in the healthcare sector. The first one took place in the West Coast where Berkshire, JPM, and Amazon decided to join forces and agreed to come up with innovative solutions on moving toward employer-based healthcare. These large conglomerates have all three necessary M’s – Manpower, Material (call it data), and Money — to execute a well-thought-out blueprint for healthcare.
The second one took place in New Delhi where the Government of India (GOI) tested the waters by announcing its intention to move toward the universal healthcare insurance (UHI) model in India. Even though at this stage implementation and math do not make much sense, the story resonated very strongly with the entire nation. Currently, there are different global models that exist for delivering healthcare and it’s a complex ecosystem to replicate at a national level.
What made me really optimistic was that industry leaders across the globe were finally willing to openly address issues that exist in the healthcare sector today and moving toward execution. Any action to improve healthcare will alter the very fabric of our daily lives, changing the way we perceive and receive healthcare.
The devil is in the detail — and when we started to break down big transformational change into actionable steps, we came out with the following blueprint.
Step 1: Understanding the problem
Step 2: Identifying change leaders
Step 3: Scoping the market
Step 4: Narrowing it down and focus on the winners
Step 5: Defining 360-degree solutions for stakeholders
Step 6: Finding the right change management approach
Step 7: Applying automation, AI, and partnerships to drive change
- Healthcare costs have spiraled upward for the past few years (with the US spending ~18% of its GDP on it). However, very few realize how fragmented this cost is toward elderly care and a few disease segments
- The quality of care is dismal. Many more die because of lapses in the way treatment is delivered. Both efficiency and cost play parts in driving innovation
- Financial systems are complex and unlike in other industries, it is difficult to define the customer
Case in point: The patient is the receiver of medical services but the cost of treatment is negotiated between the payer and provider
- Large employers can take ownership of their employee health, but in the case of an adverse event, they may not be the most specialized unit to advice and deliver care
- Governments can ease and subsidize delivery of care, but transformational innovation and efficiency becomes key challenges along with prioritizing projects
- The biggest outlier is the scale of the market. This market is global, ranging anywhere from $8.7-12 trillion by 2020. A technological breakthrough could just potentially alter the fortunes of any company
- Think it this way: Every single large customer in every geography for HCL becomes its partner/customer for driving employer-based healthcare services and solutions
- If we have to identify three winners where transformational opportunity exists, those will be:
- Personalized healthcare: Genomics is already starting to make changes in the way healthcare is delivered. In the recently concluded JPM healthcare conference, 70% of the focus was around developing drugs that can identify good cells and target just the bad ones. Currently, doctors still use lawyered up ways of administering medication. However, with genomics, we can accurately describe and minimize the pharma cost
- Universal healthcare insurance: Most developed nations have focused on driving UHI. Those who were not able to implement it completely have mixed model which drives costs up
- Employer-based healthcare: Lastly, because of the efficiency issues, employers are constantly evolving and leveraging data/technology at their disposal to circumvent inefficiency and come up with better value care model
- The change has to start at the top. While defining primary stakeholders has always been tough in the healthcare industry, ignoring even one of them can be catastrophic when it comes to holistic solutions and seamless healthcare transformation
- Just to give an insight into complexity, I list out the key stakeholders here: patients, employees, employers, government (central/state), pharma, med devices, IT service providers, insurers, doctors, and ancillary service providers such as ambulatory care
- Implementing change management is something extremely important and complex. With something as sensitive as healthcare, we need to ensure and be extremely careful of the impact that any change can have on the population
- We are experts in driving automation and AI. We leverage a platform-driven approach to maximize efficiency and reduce cost. This is where the healthcare industry can sign up to play an extremely important role. The key will be to innovate and partner early with the right players, even if the changes are global and traditional industry models start to shift toward local innovation. For driving disruption in the healthcare sector, costs will always play an important role. With a flat world model, we are poised to take advantage of emerging business change
Change has already begun and we have to quickly strategize and explore our alignment with right players to benefit from changing dynamics. The good news is that we are already partnered with some of the leading companies in the LSH space. As a next step, we need to collaborate and take advantage of other relationships as well. Time is ripe to position us as an early innovator in this space.