My colleague Shahid Shah and I are glad to make available to you a copy of the slides from our upcoming presentation “The Future of Platforms in Healthcare.” This presentation takes place at the eCollaboration Forum as part of HIMSS12 on Thursday, February 23.
You can access the slides here.
While the eCollaboration Forum in Las Vegas is sold out, you can still sign up for the live webinar all day Thursday, February 23: http://eCollab12.eventbrite.com
Here’s a brief summary of our presentation “The Future of Platforms in Healthcare”.
I. NECESSARY: Platforms are a “Must Have”, Not Just A “Nice to Have”
Today’s EMR (electronic medical record) products cannot enable accountable care. Here’s what you would have to believe to think that closed, proprietary products can get us to accountable care:
- That one company can develop all needed functionality, and
- That health IT will become a winner-take-all market (either through single-payer or all care providers in a market voluntarily choosing to buy the identical “product”), or
- That optimal collaboration across products can be achieved by phone, paper, fax
Our conclusion is: interoperable platforms are a “Must Have”.
II. COMPLEX: Many Key Characteristics of Platforms
There will be many permutations among differing platform characteristics:
How Many? Some markets with strong network effects could have a Winner-Take-All (or most) end-point, but this will take a while to play out.
Geography? International…national…regional? With exceptions, we see most U.S. health care as driven regionally.
Migration Path? Are EMRs destined to become more broad based health information exchange and workflow platforms? Maybe. We see many other possibilities.
Functionality? Platforms will contain differing capabilities and will consolidate over time. Think platform “hierarchies”, e.g., NwHIN >> mobile >> remote monitoring >> chronic diseases >> CHF, diabetes, etc.
Walled Gardens vs. Open? Like Apple iOS and Android in smartphones, we anticipate vibrant competition among closed vs. open platforms.
Sponsors? Look for a range of possibilities — single companies, industry consortia, non-profits, open source…
Products Inside Platforms or Adjacent? Anticipate both, with a preference to inside.
Dynamic? Yes. Think of platform evolution as a movie, not today’s snapshot.
III. OPPORTUNISTIC: Unlocking Patient Value and Competitive Advantage?
Is either your 1) business model, 2) technology, or 2) clinical workflow “closed” — restricting the appropriate flow of patient health records for YOUR benefit, not your patient’s benefit?
If your answer to any one these questions is Yes, you risk being out of sync with the upcoming era of “Strategic Openness” in healthcare.
The evolution of platforms will follow patterns in other industries. While incumbents initially resist standardization and cling to proprietary technologies and business models, there are many patient benefits to open platforms. Companies will use “Strategic Openness” as a differentiator — “We provide you access to your health record data. We help you turn the data into usable information. We help you and your care providers act on that information.”
IV: ACTION ITEMS: Preparing for the Future
Achieving accountable care will require platforms. Your EHR can only get you so far — far short of accountable care.
Open platforms will help us solve big problems in the coming decade: digitizing biology, chemistry, and physics, and predicting fundamental behaviors.
There are immediate governance action items to pursue:
- Review contracts
- Improve procurement
- Promote platform neutrality
After governance, focus on storage — the different kinds of data and how your will collect, store, extract, retain, and manage it. You should err on the side of storing everything.
The key takeaways: Platforms in healthcare will be NECESSARY, COMPLEX, and OPPORTUNISTIC. Start now with your list of ACTION ITEMS.
Again, you can access the slides here.