New Models for Health Care

I’m at the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco this week, participating in a very interesting look at where the US health care system is heading over the next several years. There is already a torrent of information after less than a day into the conference, so I’ll pull out some nuggets to ponder:

  • “Aetna is a health care technology development and services company. Oh, and we also happen to have an insurance division.” (Paraphrasing Mark Bertolini, CEO) A massive health insurance company begins to talk about its ‘insurance division’ as a legacy business as it moves into health care technology development and services– this is a fairly disruptive concept.
  • The other disruptive movement is on cost of technology:

  • Most health care software applications could be “free” for both doctors and consumers. The business model might be part of a bundled service from the health insurance industry (see above comment), or maybe with paid (and very targeted) advertising as part of the clinical application – Practice Fusion is a free EHR system with advertising, as an example.

This has been said before, but it’s worth repeating: the proprietary client-server software model is being rapidly overtaken by consumer devices & the data cloud. Think smart phones and tablets hooked into useful health care information systems. The number of startup companies in the Health 2.0 space is exploding, especially on the consumer device end.