A recent Fortune commentary entitled Why the Uber of Healthcare Is Here To Stay by Eric Kim and Chi-Hua Chien of Goodwater Capital focuses on the “consumerization” of healthcare in the face of exorbitant costs that are 2-3 times that of Europe. The article highlights the dichotomy of rising U.S. healthcare costs when compared to mediocre outcomes for consumers.
Kim and Chien note “while America may spend more, the nation’s health outcomes are meaningfully inferior. In fact, the U.S. suffers from lower life expectancy (it’s ranked 36th by the World Health Organization)…[and] cardiovascular disease accounts for one-third of deaths in the U.S. (accounting for one-sixth of our spend) and almost 10% of our population now has some form of diabetes.”
But while the article stresses the issues facing the $3 trillion healthcare industry, it isn’t all doom-and-gloom. End-consumers may be shouldering more costs through high-deductibles and consumer directed plans, but they are more in control of their medical decisions thanks to an ever-evolving consumer-centric platform. Employer-sponsored incentives for healthy lifestyles and online insurance exchanges are just two ways that consumers are now empowered to make meaningful changes in their approach to health care. But even more, the vast sophistication of the Internet allows for fast, personalized services – all through on-demand, mobile platforms. Digital start-ups are primed to focus on transparency, coverage, care and wellness, and are quickly changing the way consumers view access to healthcare.
The end goal, say Kim and Chien, is “a shift towards consumers taking control of their own health care costs and outcomes” leading to less money spent on more beneficial and efficient results.
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