Disruption is inevitable. Nearly 100 years ago, the average rate of survival of companies in the S&P 500 was 67 years. Today, it’s 15. And Yale researchers estimate that 75 percent of those firms will be replaced with new ones by 2027.
Just as Uber transformed the taxi industry and Airbnb is able to rent millions of rooms without owning a single hotel, a multitude of disruptive start-ups are looking to deliver higher quality of care at a fraction of the cost and disintermediate traditional players in the industry. Disruptive technologies, enablers and business models like 3D printing, crowdsourcing and the sharing economy once limited to research labs and small hacker communities are now hitting the knee of the adoption curve and disrupting health care supply chain, diagnostics, and payment models. These so called exponentials follow a non-linear path to adoption based on Gordon Moore’s law from the 1960s and are leading the way to reshaping the future of care delivery and evolving the health care ecosystem.
Successful health care organizations today embrace disruption and leverage exponentials to accelerate their strategic priorities and transform the way they think about bending the cost curve, increasing access and improving health care outcomes.
Transformation means altering the mindset of the organization. Asking health care leaders to create a burning platform around new, often unproven ideas and technologies is not easy. Organizations get often sidetracked by shiny objects and one off initiatives – setting up an innovation challenge, or buying a 3D printer, which may feel like a progress but often lack the clear vision and commitment to an enduring strategy and measurable results. Transforming health care systems requires an iterative disciplined process and strong buy in from senior leadership in the organization. This journey, in our view consists of four main stages.
Stage 1: Embrace an exponential approach to problem-solving.
The first step in the journey is education, connecting the problems of today with the exponential solutions of tomorrow. How can exponential technologies like deep learning and image recognition help transform radiology (Enlitic) or post-operative care (Parable)?
At this stage of the journey tapping into the brainpower of the exponential ecosystem is key. Organizations like Singularity University through their conferences and convening opportunities, (e.g. Exponential Medicine) provide access to unique exponential thinkers like Daniel Kraft and transformative ideas to immerse health care leaders in the potential of exponentials and seed your organizational thinking with exponential solutions that map to your specific painpoints. Today hospitals are bringing fresh ideas in-house by leveraging the crowd and the power of maker movement – partnering with organizations like PopUp Labs to build medical maker spaces and engage nurses and clinicians in co-creating solutions from sensorized bandages to point of care Ebola diagnostics devices. Embracing an exponential mindset enables organizations to dream up and deploy non-traditional solutions to traditional problems.
Stage 2: Prioritize a portfolio of solution concepts.
The next steps is to channel those high potential ideas into a balanced portfolio of exponential solutions aligned with your strategic goals. The portfolio of concept solutions is a vehicle to develop these exponential ideas into pilots, test and scale them if successful. It becomes an opportunity to engage operations, IT and care delivery teams in the concepts development and testing to ensure their stickiness in the organization. People not technologies turn ideas into exponential solutions. Building a portfolio of solution concepts brings exponentials off the drawing board and into the hospital system.
Stage 3: Secure a stronger place in the changing health care ecosystem.
The evolving health care mindset and ecosystem requires an augmented set of capabilities that likely falls beyond the walls of a single organization. Reflect on the capabilities required to tap into those transformational opportunities and map them against potential ecosystem partners. Incubators like RockHealth and Avia could help identify those partners within the traditional health care ecosystems as well as the new market entrants. While smart algorithms have made it possible for platforms like Bridge to sense and curate a dynamic ecosystem based on your risk profile and capability requirement. Mobilizing an ecosystem of partners could exponentially augment your organization’s capabilities and reduce risk of execution overall. Per Deloitte’s recent article, mobilizing an ecosystem of partners could exponentially augment your organization’s capabilities and reduce risk of execution overall.
Stage 4. Scale and execute.
In this final stage, organizations take successful pilots to scale to drive specific operational improvement, realize savings or build new solutions to uncover new revenue streams. To achieve that, large provider organizations could benefit from what small nimble start-ups are doing in immunizing new ideas against organizational antibodies, creating a gravitational pull around them to drive demand and leveraging the democratization of knowledge and resources to scale. Thought leaders like Salim Ismail in his book Exponentials Organizations outline how to effectively draw on these exponential ideas when setting up organizational infrastructures.
Disruption is inevitable. Transforming your organization in times of disruptive change is a choice. Health care leaders today are faced with the choice to disrupt themselves, before someone else does.