What Is Your 'Digical' Care Strategy?

Retailers have abandoned the brick and mortar or online dichotomy. Instead, companies like Apple and Barnes & Noble have chosen to do both. The healthcare industry needs to learn a similar lesson.

During a recent visit to NYC, someone pointed to the Apple store on 5th Ave across from the Plaza Hotel and mentioned that it is the most profitable store in the USA. Indeed, Apple sells $6000 per sq.ft.

Online frames maker Warby Parker came in second. Retail is longer just brick and mortar or stricly online. It is a combination of the two-digical i.e.digital and physical- that creates profit synergies.

The same is happening to sick care, with telemedicine, remote sensing, online information and education sites and much more supplementing traditional hospitals, clinics and offices. Most of sick care is not there yet.

In addition, the point of care is increasingly being supplemented by care teams who do the heavy lifting when it comes to chronic care, care coordination, complex hand offs, population health and data analytics and predictive modeling.

Sick-health care looks a lot like what Barnes and Noble looked like 25 years ago. Need a book? You have to go to a store. Return the book? You have to go to a store. What about getting discounts and deals or information about what others thought about your potential choice? You have to go to a store. Of course, for most industries, those days have changed. Sick care is not most industries and it will take many years for eCare to be added to the digical care model. In addition, telecommunications and media companies will be part of the mix providing you with content via larger and larger pipes accessible over mobile devices and, eventually, becoming part of a global, interoperable information network. Not only will you be able to get pesos via the ATM in Santiago, but you'll be able to download your health data when you have to go to an emergency room there. Google translate will make it happen in Spanish, too.

Physician entrepreneurs will only survive in the future deploying a digical model that optimizes digital health technology business models.

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