Disruption by technology has affected more industries than it has left alone, and many involve things you do and use every day. For example, Facebook Messenger disrupted SMS messaging, Amazon disrupted eBooks, and Uber disrupted the taxi industry. Healthcare is no exception, experiencing disruption in the form of telemedicine, new devices, and new care delivery paradigms.
What makes a company disruptive?
A lot of companies may seek to be disruptive in order to gain a competitive advantage but being disruptive is more than beating out the competition. Being disruptive is in a sense "thinking outside the box."
A disruptive company is one that takes a powerful, innovative approach to displacing an established technology and essentially shaking up the industry. A disruptive company could be a ground-breaking product/service that might even create a completely new industry.
What are some of the most disruptive healthcare companies today?
The healthcare industry is undergoing rapid evolution because of changes in healthcare policy and different reimbursement structures. Healthcare is also being disrupted by technology, just like many other industries. Apps, telemedicine, health insurance, and even crowd-sourcing of care are some of the disruptive technologies changing healthcare in 2016.
We investigated quite a few healthcare companies whether they are app focused, service focused, or something entirely different and found that the 10 companies listed here are disrupting the healthcare scene in numerous ways. Whether it be with the doctor/patient relationship, care delivery, or healthcare costs, these disruptive healthcare companies are definitely thinking outside the box.
Here are 10 companies to watch that are disrupting healthcare.
iTriage is a free website and mobile app that people use to get answers to medical questions, find care providers, and manage personal health information securely.
For example, if you were being treated for a condition and developed side effects or new symptoms, the app can tell you not only potential causes, but also nearby providers who can help you.
2. Zest Health
Zest is another app, designed to help people make the most of their insurance benefits and track information like how much they've paid toward their deductible. Suppose a doctor orders an imaging study. Zest can verify whether it's covered under the user's policy, and offers options for having it done at alternative locations with better coverage or at lower cost.
Talkspace is a company that offers unlimited messaging therapy online with professional licensed therapists. Patients can securely message their therapists at any time, and from anywhere, using a mobile device or desktop environment.
First a free assessment is made, after which a therapist and plan are recommended and secure messaging can begin.
4. Skin Vision
Skin Vision is a mobile app that can analyze skin conditions. Using it simply requires taking a photo of the skin in question, after which the app analyzes it and offers a recommendation.
Users can also track skin changes and share them with their physician. This app, available in Europe, is free for the first month, after which one- three- or 12-month subscriptions can be purchased.
CrowdMed crowd sources medical diagnoses. Users share their case and then collaborate with "medical detectives" to solve the problem. Users receive a report with top diagnostic suggestions.
The case-solving community includes physicians and medical students. Though the suggestions don't constitute medical advice, they offer a fresh look at vexing medical issues.
Founded by a nephrologist, Heal will "uber" a doctor to treat patients at home. Launched in Los Angeles, it has now expanded to San Francisco and works through the iOS Heal app, which allows users to order a doctor 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
It costs $99 per visit for kids or adults - somewhat more than the typical co-pay at a doctor's office.
A Georgia-based company, MedZed offers nurse-assisted telemedicine for sick children in their homes. A nurse visits the home and provides exams under the direction of a doctor through a video link similar to Skype.
The exams cost $150, but many parents think it's worth it not to have to get out with a sick child (and any siblings that may have to tag along).
8. Retrace Health
Retrace Health offers telemedicine visits as well as home visits for physical tests. After the telemedicine or home encounter, a follow-up call is made to make sure the patient is progressing as expected.
The cost of services ranges from $60 for a video visit to $190 for a home visit that includes labs.
Available in parts of New York, New Jersey, California, and Texas, Oscar is simplified health insurance for people who don't have employer-provided insurance. It uses technology, including mobile apps, to simplify the consumer's experience with health insurance. Apps can be used to talk to a doctor and even have some medications e-prescribed without leaving home.
Medicast is a platform for hospitals and healthcare systems that provides mobile-first logistics and management of on-demand care, including house calls.
Offered as a "white label" solution, Medicast includes several apps that can be custom-branded, and that offer scheduling and dispatch of remote caregivers to optimize time spent with patients.
Did we miss one?
Did we miss a disruptive healthcare company? Let us know in the comments section of this blog post. We'd love to do a part 2 and include even more healthcare industry disruptors.