How Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft Will Treat You

PART 1: Background for Healthcare Changes

“Per World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org) expect rapid change and unprecedented opportunity. That ushers in a golden era of innovation in healthcare”.

Background for Healthcare Changes

The U.S. Healthcare market is a $3.3 Trillion industry with annual increases over 5% (www.cms.gov).  This market is both attractive and a puzzle for many interested companies.  As this industry is composed of manufactures, legal and regulatory mandates, researchers, vendors, and healthcare professionals.   All subject to government oversight.  An example is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) (www.hhs.gov) for handling personally identifiable information (PII).

In this post I examine why now should Amazon (www.amazon.com); Apple (www.apple.com); Google (www.google.com) Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) and their partners enter this market.

Why Now?

Many innovative and successful companies have failed to achieve expected critical mass. Defined as user acceptance for a product or service. More recently, the Affordable Care Act’s unfulfilled promises.  Are shaping attitudes more amenable to private sector options than in the past. 

Healthcare evolves. Technology innovates. Regulators regulate. Consumers are decentralizing the healthcare industry.  Two examples: (1) Elderly patients live longer. They will demand home-based care options; (2) In response, organizations will deploy AI to engage many elderly labor-intensive patients.

This chart illustrates how these technology innovators (Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft) are meeting consumers’ demands within an amenable regulatory environment.

Innovators
(Capabilities)
Consumers
(Demands)
Regulators
(Climate)
AI, Analytics
Cloud/Storage
Cyber Security
Data Interoperability
Fraud Detection
Human Gesture
Medical Identity
Risk Management
Speech Recognition
Wearable Devices
DIY Tools
Mobile Devices
PII Record Tools
Data Sharing
Out of Pocket Expenses
Real-time Analysis
PII Protection
Mitigation Avenues
Chatbots
Data Collection
Decentralized
Cyber Security
HIPPA Compliance
Standards (e.g.FHIR)
Fraud Protection
Life Sciences
PII Regulations
Providers/Financial
Terminology/Failures
Permitted Data Uses

Selected innovator examples include Apple’s iPhone app pilot with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. For aggregating and sharing PII records. In addition, Amazon’s AWS, Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s AZURE APIs and cloud platforms are addressing the cyber security and HIPPA compliance needs. For consumers ( patients) and industry (providers, insurers, researchers) alike.

Selected regulator examples include likely approval for CVS/AETNA to integrate health insurance plans, pharmacies and retail outlets. In addition government is expanding telemedicine with the U.S. Communities (SUPPORT) Act.

The coalescing of innovation, demand and regulation will not prevent the inevitable cultural clash. Between these innovators and the healthcare industry.  Reduce friction. By addressing challenges, such as:

  • IT Security and Compliance.  Compliance with cyber security and HIPPA mandates. They are intertwined among clinics, hospitals, insurance companies and vendors.  Requiring risk assessments, testing and training and satisfactory HIPPA audits. 
  • Fraud.  The National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association estimates fraud costs the nation $68 billion annually. (www.bcbsm.com).  Requiring medical identity protection using AI, algorithms and advanced analytical tools to detect anomalies and fraud.

A golden era for healthcare innovation may be possible.  Stay tuned for my second post, Healthcare Opportunities and Challenges.  That primarily examines key opportunities and challenges these tech giants will face.

What Do You Think?

Author Disclosure

I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I have no vested interest in any of the products, firms or institutions mentioned in this post. Nor does the Analyst Syndicate. This is not a sponsored post.

Disclosure

The views and opinions in this analysis are my own and do not represent positions or opinions of The Analyst Syndicate. Read more on the Disclosure Policy.

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