By Mike Wilkinson
Today’s healthcare market is something of a digital laggard yet I can see many parallels to my early days in telecoms. When I was in the first stages of my career we were all about getting bandwidth to the masses in as cost effective manner as possible. The problem was that the market was immature so it ended up costing the telecoms operators hundreds of dollars per connection to deliver relatively basic services. We were delivering a white glove service to a market that needed the economics of mass delivery.
Over time competition increased and prices dropped and the telecoms market invested huge sums in next-generation IT systems to lower the unit cost of delivery to make advanced telecoms services available to everybody at an acceptable cost. To put this in perspective I am typing this blog on a network connection that only 15 years ago would have cost the average business approximately $30,000 a year. Today it costs me less than $500. White glove services are now reserved for the complex, unique deployments that as a rule sit in the business market.
This is in many ways similar to what needs to happen in healthcare as it moves from a volume based pricing model to a value based model. Today healthcare is akin to the white glove model that was running in telecoms. Everyone receives a highly customised service tailored to their specific needs even though their needs may be uniform which would be better addressed by a structured care pathway approach which is optimised for both outcome, cost and analytics. The economics of white glove simply are not sustainable in a market that is burdened by an ever-ageing demographic yet limited by a finite healthcare budget.
The market needs solutions that address this cost/volume dichotomy powered by digital technology. Next-generation IT solutions like Lumeon are going to create a revolution in the provision of health services, creating uniformity of delivery and dramatically improving patient outcomes whilst lowering the unit cost of delivery to the payer community.
At Lumeon we intend to be at the forefront of illuminating that revolution by delivering the IT solutions for change but also allowing health providers to share best practice in care pathway management to speed-up the overall movement in the market. The new few years are going to be exciting. It’s time to make a difference to the future of a market that we will all need at some point in our future, and I’m excited at the potential we have to change the delivery of healthcare over the coming years.