Opinions are a-dime-a-dozen. Anyone who’s been around this industry has one about where healthcare information tech is now, and where it’s going.

Some things no-one would dispute:

  • the healthcare industry consumes a huge bulk of GPD (5%-10% globally; 16% in the USA)
  • it lags behind most other industries in terms of technology
  • it falls further and further back all the time, despite pronouncements of commitment otherwise
  • a very small # of companies have earned the privilege of dominance
  • they also function (sort of by default) as curators, essentially controlling technology deployment
  • they do so in a manner that protects their own self-interest (it’s not evil – who wouldn’t do the same?)
  • the unfortunate result is that industry is held back, in much the same way the energy sector is, thanks to the giants in oil & gas
The future is quite debatable, but I’d submit:
  • it cannot continue as it is
  • we can’t count on the ruling industry giants to usher the needed progress
  • giants from other verticals (Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc) have had their eyes on healthcare transformation for a long time, but they haven’t figured out how to crack it open yet
  • they will
  • they will not simply swap themselves in to replace Epic or Cerner and imitate the same sins of stagnation
  • instead, we can expect to see a better overall design – where the upstart innovators play an active role in fulfilling on the unmet need.

There are surely lots of simple sketches -made by others- that would illustrate this possible future state. If I don’t find one, I’ll my hand at it. I’d welcome suggestions…! And naturally, any challenges to the ideas above.