Microsoft talks about the idea of a new "Uber for healthcare"

Jonny Caldwell

Uber for healthcare

Technology has evolved quite a lot over the years, with many new innovations that try to make life a lot easier. And Dr. Simon Kos, the health industry manager for Microsoft in Australia, already has an idea about how technology can empower a better healthcare system.
He started out by explaining on the Microsoft Health blog how various innovations to technology has changed the way we do things to me more effective and efficient,

“Uber has changed how we catch a cab, Airbnb how we organize travel, PayPal and Bitcoin how we bank. Amazon has changed how we buy books, and Netflix how we consume entertainment. What’s the common denominator among these disruptions? Technology provided an alternative that improved on the incumbent system.”

He then went on asking about what a new innovation that technology can do to improve healthcare.

“So what will be the Uber for healthcare? Because certainly the healthcare system is ripe for disruption. Health organizations and technology vendors alike are looking for new ways to achieve the triple aim of improving quality and increasing access while lowering costs. At the same time, people expect more convenience and involvement in their healthcare.”

Kos explains that in order to meet patient expectations and get the rising costs under control, “the burgeoning consumer wellness space and the traditional healthcare system need to come together. Perhaps the “Uber for health” will be something that bridges the divide between the two and helps us shift from a “sickness” system to a “health” system?”
He explains that we have technologies that can enable “disruption much faster than in the past, so a game-changer for healthcare could be just around the corner. With cloud and mobile platforms, it’s quicker, easier, and more cost-effective than ever to develop solutions that people can use anytime, anywhere. Rather than major system overhauls that take many years and billion-dollar budgets to complete, modern health IT solutions can be developed in days with minimal capital.”
Kos then goes on to provide an example of a new approach of healthcare for more efficiency called Hacking Health, which is a Canadian-based group that was backed by Microsoft for a few years. The concept behind Hacking Health was simple; clinicians worked directly with software developers to come up with solutions for their biggest healthcare challenges. Based on real-world needs of clinicians and patients, teams were able to produce health IT prototypes in just a few days.
It would be very interesting to see new innovations that would make getting health care accessible for anyone and cost effective. Let us know what you think in the comments below.