Technology companies have been trying to disrupt the US health industry for almost a decade.
In 2013, HRI found, 76 percent of the Fortune 50 were engaged in the healthcare industry; several were technology companies aiming to use their digital prowess, pragmatism and consumer savvy to develop better ways to deliver, pay for and access care.
In 2018, a slightly higher percentage of the Fortune 50 is involved with health, with about the same number of tech companies. These Technology Invaders are gaining traction.
Consumers are bullish on the Technology Invaders’ potential to improve the health system. An HRI consumer survey found that more than half were confident that technology companies could help solve some of the healthcare industry’s most pressing problems.
There are many ways in which technology companies may offer value to patients, employers and other parts of the healthcare system. Companies should think about which existing offerings can be scaled to healthcare and how, the regulatory hurdles they may need to clear, what part of healthcare to get into, and the capabilities they will need to compete.
While Technology Invaders have the capability to disrupt, they likely will need partnerships with existing healthcare companies to actually do so.
One example of this is Onduo, a diabetes-focused company formed as a partnership between life sciences company Sanofi S.A. and Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. Onduo CEO Josh Riff told HRI that the partnership allowed him to tap into the engineering, analytics and consumer expertise of Alphabet and the diabetes expertise and physician access of Sanofi. “Any tech company can build a diabetes product. Few tech companies can build a diabetes product knowing the history of what’s worked, what hasn’t worked,” Riff told HRI. “By combining these two companies, you really get the best of both worlds.”