Written by Nigel Baker
Richard Suhr from EY was the key speaker at a breakfast meeting I recently attended and he posed the above question. I am a sucker for a conspiracy theory and his question really resonated with me.
The talk was at a health industry function and it was fascinating to hear his take on the subject in relation to the challenges and opportunities in the sector. As with most, if not all industry sectors digital disruption has/will target the peripheral services that are the most profitable. The core business functions of health such as heart surgery will probably not come under the control of Uber but why wouldn’t the supply chain?
Much has already changed in this sector and there is much more to come. Who has a family GP nowadays? People travel overseas for surgical procedures. Where is the first place you go to if you have a health query (my wife would say google)? Do you have a watch that measures your heart rate, steps, sleep patterns, distances covered, it might even tell the time? Do you have an app that measures your calorie intake for the day as well as your weight loss/gain? Do you do your weekly food shop online? Do you have an app that tells you how to workout? etc. etc. etc.
As an individual how will all this information that is held in the public cloud affect you in the future? (It could be much more important than keeping that embarrassing photo from going viral.) Will your future life insurance premium be set by how much you weigh, exercise and consume and where will this information come from? Facebook probably! Will you be charged more by your health fund if you eat too much or do too little exercise?
A major challenge for the health sector moving forward is deciding how they are going to be connected to patients. There is a growing need for all areas of business to offer what the user wants and a growing expectation to move away from purely informing to assisting. Historically the health sector has been very good at informing, are they as good at assisting? Will your doctor or surgeon be available 24/7 on social media? How will regulation and governance evolve? What will a hospital of the future look like? Will they share/sell on your information like other organisations do?
Which all brings us back to the original question……..Who will be your trusted advisor to hold your confidential medical records, facebook or the Government? I think maybe facebook, or more probably an organisation that we haven’t even heard of yet.