Cloud healthcare: The connection economy’s next frontier
Welcome to the connection economy: a commercial world based on relationships in which who and what you know beats out tangible assets as the fundamental cornerstone of doing business. Cloud healthcare is just one of a growing number of fields already being transformed by its outgrowth. You can credit the rise of mobile innovations, online services and internet-based apps for this fundamental change, which has ushered in waves of disruption that will be felt for decades to come.
At its heart, the connection economy relies on human interaction and the ability of individual parties to work together to create positive outcomes and help others connect to the solutions they or their businesses require. Cloud healthcare promises to be one of its most promising new growth areas as an increasing number of providers and services aim to connect end users to the solutions or treatments they seek.
As the healthcare industry radically shifts, these developments promise to disrupt the scope of the field and change the very shape of provider/patient interactions. Implications for enterprises doing business in the space are significant — and depending on where you sit, a cause for celebration or concern. But equally vital to note is that current shifts in the marketplace are just the tip of the iceberg. As mobile devices and applications become more prevalent, so too will the impact on cloud healthcare and other fields in coming years.
For example, consider the way in which the connection economy and mobile innovations have already changed the shape of your daily life. Do you need a ride somewhere? Load an app, and you can quickly source local cars and drivers, who are primarily everyday individuals, not industry professionals. Do you want to purchase a product online? Fire up your web browser or shopping app, and you can now buy from thousands of sellers — many of whom may simply be average internet users, not retail industry experts or brick-and-mortar store owners. Are you looking to hire help to assist with graphic design, marketing or social media functions? Hop online, and numerous websites will let you post a project dozens of freelancers from around the world can bid on.
Now, picture the following:
- Online apps and cloud services that can connect you to hundreds of healthcare providers in your area so you can quickly schedule an appointment or even virtually see a specialist by video conferencing on your phone or tablet.
- Mobile innovations that let you quickly research, compare prices and buy medical devices or source care-related services from a pool of providers, all of whom are rated and recommended by users such as yourself.
- Websites where you can post advertisements for medical or healthcare-related needs, set your price and sit back and watch industry professionals compete to bid on them.
- Wellness programs that let you connect, share data and collaborate with other individuals in your city or neighborhood to help build positive fitness and health habits and even enjoy discounts or rewards for making progress.
- Open cloud healthcare innovation portals where manufacturers, software developers, service providers and more can source ideas from inside or outside the organization — including from members of the public — to help build tomorrow’s solutions.
The impact on healthcare
Naturally, these advancements will affect the healthcare industry in many ways, such as the following:
- Lowered barriers to entry, ushering in a wave of new solutions and providers.
- Increased ability on consumers’ part to research and shop around for health- and care-related products and services.
- Greater capacity for individuals to share, recommend and review prospective business partners.
- More data being shared online, and having to be managed, than ever before.
- Significant changes to operating models, given the rise of mobile, distance and virtual solutions.
- Heightened competition on pricing, service and value.
- The need to accelerate the speed at which organizations operate and make decisions.
- Additional emphasis on customer service, loyalty and relationship-building before, during and after purchase decisions.
- More marketing dollars moving to nontraditional spaces and the digital and online world.
- Significant cost savings and gains in terms of flexibility and agility for enterprises that can stay ahead of and master these shifts.
The connection economy effectively promises to upend the traditional healthcare industry. However, it will also create many new opportunities and ways for entrenched market players to rethink the way they do business. Cloud healthcare represents a hugely promising new frontier for the field that forward-thinking mobile enterprises will soon be able to successfully capitalize on to an unprecedented extent.
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