The Future of Entrepreneurship and Healthcare

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The healthcare industry is booming. As technology has improved and become more widely available, many companies are moving into healthcare or healthcare-adjacent fields, driven by entrepreneurs who see the value of this emerging market. At the same time, healthcare companies are becoming more numerous and experiencing an unprecedented level of competition. Many are starting to embrace entrepreneurial habits as a means of survival.

Going forward, it appears that entrepreneurship and healthcare are linked and that they will continue to be connected for some time. Here are the three primary ways the two are connected, and why it matters.

 

Image via Flickr by MDGovpics

Business Practices Drive the Industry

One of the biggest ways entrepreneurship and healthcare are related is how business practices are driving the industry. Healthcare MBAs and other healthcare professionals are using business concepts to get ahead, which is disrupting traditional healthcare. Market incentives are pushing experienced entrepreneurs and investors into the healthcare industry, and they are finding a welcome market, open to new ideas and technologies. At the same time, healthcare is becoming less directed and more open as the industry embraces a patients-as-consumers mindset. Healthcare providers have to respond by marketing services — something that was virtually unheard of in the past.

New Payment Models Reward Value

Traditional clinical models like the fee-for-service models healthcare employed over recent decades, making money on how many patients are seen, are rapidly disappearing. New population management models reward healthcare providers for keeping patients healthy, as opposed to allowing them to make money off only sick people. Changing this focus changes the scope of treatment. Now preventing illness is key, and avoiding unnecessary treatment is the rule. Entrepreneurial healthcare workers are using this shift to introduce health-preserving measures, techniques, systems, and novelties, like wearable technologies and fitness apps. This creates a universe of highly profitable products and services adjacent to healthcare that are not under the sole direction of medical professionals, health insurance companies, or treatment centers.

Technology Moves Modern Healthcare

Technology is changing modern healthcare. Entrepreneurial-minded healthcare professionals are applying predictive data and analytical tools to anticipate healthcare needs in a community, ensure care is adequate and necessary, and make statistical predictions about the care that will be required next. They are also exposing and correcting inefficiencies in traditional healthcare and making new models based on what works.

Technology is also gaining bigger roles as decision-making tools within the healthcare industry get a foothold, be it a wearable technology that documents patient experiences or websites that allow patients to access their own lab work. There is also the need for integrated data solutions now that so much data is available about patient histories, lab work, hereditary issues, and treatment successes that a systematic solution to support decision-making is practically required.

Entrepreneurship and healthcare are linked, and the bonds between the two are growing deeper as business practices drive the healthcare industry into a wellness industry. In turn, value-oriented payment models reward that focus and technology perpetuates the cycle. In the end, entrepreneurship is moving healthcare forward, and the industry has to evolve to keep pace.

 

Recommended Reading

Healthcare Entrepreneurship at The Speed of Light

5 Health Organizations Using Social Entrepreneurship

George Washington University Healthcare MBA Program

 

Sources

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerryadolan/2014/03/20/healthcares-innovation-imperative-ten-truths-entrepreneurs-need-to-know/
http://www.entrepreneurship.org/emed/which-areas-will-rule-the-future-of-healthcare-innovation.aspx
http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/health360/posts/2015/03/30-entrepreneurial-revolution-in-health-care-rauch