What kind of businesses are best poised to disrupt the healthcare industry? Is it tech giants like Amazon (AMZN 2.57%), which has launched a virtual pharmacy and is exploring telehealth services, or smaller players like recently IPO'd GoodRx Holdings (GDRX 3.87%), which provides major discounts on prescription drugs?
Ruby Gadelrab is CEO and Founder of MDisrupt, a platform that connects digital health companies to the scientists and healthcare industry experts they need to build, commercialize, and scale health products quickly and responsibly. Ruby joined Olivia Zitkus and Corinne Cardina of Fool.com's Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau on a Jan. 22 episode of Fool Live to talk about areas of the healthcare industry that are practically screaming for a shake up.
Olivia Zitkus: We've seen lots of certain health tech companies become successful even the small ones. They become successful by occupying some sort of a niche where there are inefficiencies and using tech to create value by simplifying or streamlining certain activities. I'm curious in the health-tech space or in the health space in general, which areas do you think are ripe for disruption by companies that are poised to do the things that you just outlined.
Ruby Gadelrab: For sure the $3.5 trillion healthcare industry is ripe for disruption, I think we all know this. Health care is really at an inflection point, we are switching from being this very transactional interaction with our health systems that happens when we're sick. We need to evolve that into an ongoing service that's designed to keep you healthy so I think the term that's been coined is, healthcare needs to stop being transactional and start being healthcare as a service. The healthcare system of the last 100 years, wasn't really about health and wasn't really about care either, effectively it's a sick care system. We need to think about what does a health system look like that can take care of people where they live and where they work before they get sick and outside of the walls of the hospital. I think over the next few years, the changes in healthcare are not only going to be driven by technology but also how healthcare is going to get paid for, so we're moving from the fee-for-service model where the more procedures, the more a health system gets paid, into this value-based care model where health products have to demonstrate better outcomes. When companies come to us at MDisrupt, some of the things that we ask them is we help them understand what are the four categories of outcomes that the healthcare systems care about, so I use this acronym hear, H-E-A-R. H, health outcomes, can we predict or prevent a disease? Can we do a better job of managing a disease outside of a health system if it occurs? A really simple example of health outcomes is, can we keep people's blood sugar levels low in their daily lives through behavioral lifestyle interventions all through with close monitoring, for example, so health outcomes is the first one. The second one is, experience, does your health product provide a better experience, either for the patient or for the physician. People often forget about the physician, but health systems are seeing that physicians are experiencing burnouts, and so if you can improve the patient or the physician experience that is also caused as an improved outcome. We've talked about health outcomes, we talked about experience, the next one is access. Can we simplify access to delivering healthcare for more people when they need it both inside and outside of a healthcare system? Then the final one is reducing costs, is your product able to create some efficiencies in the healthcare system which can either increase productivity or reduce costs. When people come to us at MDisrupt, we work with them to help them identify which of those four areas their product is meeting and then how are they going to generate the evidence to prove that to the payers, to the providers, to the health systems. I think in my opinion, the best way for companies to do this, is to make sure that they are engaging with scientists and health industry experts early and often throughout the process. Clinicians do understand the healthcare system, they know the problems and they know the types of solutions that they need to solve some of those things, and so they can really add some tremendous value to the digital health companies.