Survival of majority of data-driven healthcare IT (HCIT) providers is at risk. Chances of failures in their business models is expected to rise in next five years. Dramatic and fast evolution is imperative in beating these odds, until data selling witnesses a halt. Explosion of low-cost data is influencing transformation in healthcare, driven in huge-scale by digitisation and adoption of electronic medical record. End-users may benefit from huge quantity of newly available information for solving problems in patient engagement, clinical decision support and population health.
Reasons for Challenges Incurred in Survival of HCIT Providers
Ease of access implies ease of market entry. Emerging data providers are capable of creating new competition sources quickly. For example, Propeller Health and AirCure are utilising innovative methods for generating data associated with patient medication adherence. Competition further results into more choices and better offerings. Question is what can possibly go wrong? There could be many reasons challenging survival of HCIT providers. End-users could get overwhelmed by flood of reports and raw data unfit for their existing workflow. Low barriers to entry and abundant availability of information for data providers implies faster erosion of competitive advantage harnessed by data itself.
One solution for data providers is to become the source for authorising a specific information. Some firms have realised the same in healthcare as well as other fields- for example QuintilesIMS becoming source of data associated with pharmaceutical sales, and Nielsen authorising TV viewer habits. IT providers could follow their lead, cornering the market on specific data sets. However, implementation of this idea faces several challenges, raising questions on success potential of this strategy.
Evolving from Provision of Data to Provision of Insight to be a Better Option for HCIT Providers
Companies heading this direction focus on overcoming problems within a use case such as decision support. Focusing on specific population such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s or cancer patients, companies might explore specific insights on disease progression, treatment options or pain management. They can address underlying stakeholder needs, for example- management of total cost of care. Clients receive crucial information- transformation of raw data for supporting better decisions.
It is difficult to transform data providers into data analytics, as it needs significant alterations in business models, management and staffing approach. However it is believed there is no other option than this. Theodore Levitt, late marketing professor and economist, states that customers do not buy quarter-inch drills, but need a quarter-inch hole instead. Similarly, HCIT providers do not wish for data, but for solutions reducing costs and improving outcomes.