The topic of this episode is about an emerging healthcare marketplace transformation, which is the introduction of platforms into healthcare. What surprised me about this movement is how many years it’s been developing. For example, last July I attended the 2022 MIT Platform Strategy Summit. Turns out it was their 10th annual symposium on this topic. The first day was dedicated to healthcare and entitled, ‘The Platform Revolution Comes to Healthcare’. The opening presentation was entitled, Healthcare Platform Megatrends: Discovering the Power of Network Effects. Our two podcast guests delivered that presentation. It was the most lucid and engaging explanation I’ve ever heard on the topic. Not surprising, given that they’ve been studying platforms for over a decade, have written blogs, spoken at prestigious institutions, launched their own podcast, and are writing a book.
Dr. Randy Williams is an experienced physician, healthcare executive, digital health pioneer and serial entrepreneur. He is the managing director of Digital Care Advisors, a healthcare strategic consulting and advisory firm. Following his medical training as a heart failure & transplant cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, he was recruited to Northwestern University where he built one of the first nationally recognized chronic care programs in heart failure and care management. Dr. Williams has testified in the US Senate and advised the Congressional Budget Office in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations on issues related to healthcare reform.
Vince Kuraitis is Principal and Founder of Better Health Technologies, LLC – developing strategy, partnerships and business models with a unique focus on platform strategy. His experience includes: President, Health Choice (medical call center), VP of Corporate Development & Specialty Operations at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center; Regional Director of Marketing of National Medical Enterprises (hospital chain with 100 facilities). Vince holds both an MBA and a JD from UCLA. He is on the editorial advisory boards of Accountable Care News and Population Health News.
In this interview, we’ll discover:
- A platform does not only refer to a digital technology infrastructure, but is also a function of a novel business model.
- Examples of mega platforms in other industries – some of which have already entered the healthcare market.
- The opportunities platforms provide, as well as the strategic threat, especially if legacy stakeholders ignore them.
- What the ‘network effect’ means, as well as other characteristics that define a platform.
- The underlying market forces that are propelling platforms as a dominant component of healthcare delivery.
Some important takeaways from this interview.
First, platforms will be a foundational component of healthcare delivery in the near future. They already are in many other industries. Think Amazon in retail, Uber in travel, AirBnB in the hotel industry, and Netflix in streaming entertainment.
Second, platforms will revolutionize healthcare delivery, similar to the ways they’ve improved other industries such as banking, retail, travel and communications – making it more convenient, more consumer-oriented, more more accessible, more cost effective, and replete with more choices.
Third, platforms are not a ‘nice to have’, and they’re not a futuristic phenomena. In fact, I first heard about platforms from the CEO of the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Enrico Ferrugia, during a talk he gave at the 2021 HLTH conference. He described the emphasis Mayo was going to place on platforms and some of the strategic advantages. As Dr. Randy Williams put it during the interview,
“Every executive in healthcare needs to become familiar with what platform thinking is all about because they don’t want to fall asleep at the switch. This is coming to a neighborhood near you.”
Until Next Time,
Zeev Neuwirth, MD