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  • Writer's pictureOzzie Paez

Harvard's Healthcare Economics

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Only two weeks remain in Harvard’s Healthcare Economics course and cohort. It has provided useful insights into the drivers, basis, and strategies behind the American healthcare system’s cost structures. It's also revealing that innovative mindsets and strategic appreciation of technological innovations were not framed as solutions for improving value and reducing costs. So far, they've been largely absent from the discussions, which spent much time looking back at studies and policies from the 1970s and 80s. These cannot be dismissed because much many of our policies are still based on and informed by these half-century-old studies and thinking.

My colleagues and I observed similar insular cultures in other industries since the rise of the Internet. They shared a common fate when disruptive technological innovations hit them like a freight train; incumbents stumbled and struggled to cope, while competitors emerged that offered more compelling customer-centered value. In this context, two powerful forces are emerging that will challenge and disrupt many healthcare providers in the years ahead: health quantification and reversed information asymmetry (RIA).

Health quantification describes how improved physiological sensors are quantifying and contextually interpreting human health and quality of life. RIA speaks to increasing patient awareness of their health, health challenges, treatments, and provider options. These advances are turning patients into the best informed in medical history and make them attractive to competitors that exploit technological innovations to deliver more compelling value. This is how industries have been disrupted and incumbents dethroned over the last quarter-century.

Harvard’s course will inform our work developing healthcare business model innovations anchored to innovative technologies. I’ve discussed how BioBeat’s revolutionary remote patient monitoring technologies can help incumbents strengthen their service quality and value propositions. Exploiting innovations is the only proven strategy for coping with disruptive technological innovations. I’m eager to see if these issues will receive more attention in the remaining ten days of our cohort and course.


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