To Survive, Health Care Data Providers Need to Stop Selling Data

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Most statistics-pushed healthcare IT (HCIT) vendors aren’t going to continue to exist. Their enterprise fashions are at critical risk of failure in the next 3 to 5 years. To beat those odds, they need to confirm dramatically and fast, to some extent where they’re now not selling information at all.

Like any quantity of industries, healthcare is being transformed through the explosion of low-fee statistics. In healthcare, the transformation is pushed in big element through digital clinical record adoption and digitization. There were many advantages. End-users can gain quantities of newly available statistics to clear up populace health problems, medical choice aid, and patient engagement, among other applications. And ease of getting right of entry to approach the ease of market entry: Emerging records companies can get on their toes quickly and create new resources of competition. For instance, AiCure and Propeller Health use very distinctive strategies to generate patient medicinal drug adherence records. Competition results in higher offerings and extra desire. What may want to cross incorrectly?

Plenty, clearly. End customers can be crushed by using the flood of uncooked facts and reviews that might not healthy well with their present workflow or answer their unique question. And for data carriers, the ubiquitous availability of records and occasional barriers to access means that the data itself’s aggressive advantage can be speedily eroded. Yet too many HCIT companies are nevertheless pursuing that information-centric benefit. The bulk of HCIT investment supports startups that sell facts — scientific or operational data that is in any other case tough for customers to obtain or to arrange.

These corporations regard facts as the source of enterprise fees. But as greater statistics and greater statistics providers flood the marketplace, and aggressive position based totally solely on information becomes impossible to guard. Consider the pass by using the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to publish extensive Medicare enrollment and utilization information and make it reachable and smooth to interpret through the CMS website. Information that might as soon as have been proprietary — and top class-priced — is now extensively to be had, without cost. CMS’s flow illustrates a huge trend. Increasingly, for maximum HCIT companies, information is a commodity.

What’s a data provider to do?

One solution is to become the authoritative source for a specific type of information. Some companies have controlled it, in healthcare and in other areas — think of QuintilesIMS as a source of pharmaceutical income statistics, Nielsen because of the authority on TV viewer habits, and the U.S. Census for records about U.S. Demographics. In concept, a healthcare IT company can observe their lead and try to corner the marketplace on a statistics set. But to do that in nowadays’s landscape is a tall order. The identical dynamics we’ve described — enormous get admission to, low charges, low limitations to entry, commoditization of records sets — mean it’s an open question whether or not this strategy can work.

A higher option is to conform from offering statistics to presenting perception.


Companies shifting this path aim to solve problems inside a use case, for instance, choice support. They would possibly awareness of a specific populace consisting of most cancers, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s patients and a selected perception about disease progression, pain control, or treatment alternatives. They address an underlying stakeholder want, which includes managing the total fee of care. Clients get what’s honestly wished —raw facts converted to assist better choices. And HCIT vendors break out the commodity lure.

The marketplace is rapidly shifting on this path. IBM set up its Watson Health business unit to apply cognitive computing analyses to healthcare and in 2016 introduced plans to accumulate Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 billion. IBM plans to leverage Truven’s huge information collection — sourced from greater than eight,500 insurers, hospitals, and government businesses — to help unique use cases, the use of Watson’s analytical skills. For example, a few Watson Health projects attention on enhancing oncology diagnostics and figuring out the only remedy protocols for particular most cancers affected person subgroups.

Another answer issuer, Proteus Digital Health, is engaging with health systems to provide insights into real remedy use and resulting fitness patterns. Understanding remedy effectiveness for at-hazard patients — mainly for patients without control of hypertension and diabetes — is a concern for many fitness plans. Proteus analytics guide patient and own family engagement and care-group training to force clinical development. Other records analytics offerings based on accurate medication-consumption records, combined with physiological measures, also promise to enhance scientific decision-making, lessen docs’ workload, and enhance effects.

The transformation from records issuer to records analytics offerings is difficult. It calls for sizeable modifications in enterprise models, staffing, and management approach. But we agree with it’s the best alternative. The past-due economist and advertising and marketing professor Theodore Levitt famously stated: “People don’t need to shop for 1 / 4-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hollow.” In fitness care, vendors don’t want records. They need answers that decrease prices and enhance consequences. HCIT corporations that deliver those answers are those so that it will be around in 5 years.

Harsha Madannavar is a managing director in L.E.K. Consulting’s San Francisco workplace.

Todd Clark is a managing director in L.E.K. Consulting’s San Francisco workplace.

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