Placing a bet on platform business model in healthcare & winning

platform business model in healthcare

Growth of platform business model in healthcare

What is platform business model?

The platform business model is taking over the world. As the information revolution is slowing its influence in the business world, a new trend is emerging in the face of platform business models. The platform model entails linking and facilitating exchanges between two or more interdependent groups. Such groups are largely the producers and the consumers. In such a model, the platforms bring together large groups and networks of users and resources, which can be accessed on demand.

Instead of relying on the traditional means of production, the platforms utilize the power of connections between those offering specific goods and services and those seeking to utilize them.

The platform model is clearly different from all the previously developed business models. Unlike in the past models where the producers created value by focusing on the manufacturing of products, the platform model creates its value from the transactions that the platform avails to the producers and the consumers. In this context, the platform allows the producers of specific goods and services to list them in a specific platform where the consumer, upon demand of a specific good or service, will place their order and complete their transaction upon an agreement with the involved producer.

Some of the examples utilizing the platform business model include Uber, PayPal, Amazon, Tinder and any such business that utilizes various platform technologies to facilitate its business undertakings.

The image below shows companies that have adopted the platform business model in the past five years.

Image courtesy of Innovation Tactics

How does the platform model benefit the global healthcare sector?

The healthcare niche is seemingly stagnated when it comes to its transformation and adoption of the platform business model. It is important to understand that the models entail the intertwining of technology with the physical and biological aspects of living. It entails people relying on networks and various techniques to carry out activities that were not possible in the recent past. The state of the platform model in the healthcare sector remains largely underutilized. Despite the challenges, healthcare platform models have been established. Currently, Amazon’s Alexa, Siemens Healthineers digital ecosystem and Philips HealthSuite serve as the most established platform systems in the world.

In the platform model, a specific technology-powered platform exists in which providers and consumers transact and complete the business cycle.

The providers submit to the platform a specific good or service that the consumers visit the platform and purchase the good or service on demand. In the healthcare sector, the healthcare providers serve as providers while the patients serve as the consumers and all the goods and services that are involved in the platform should focus on consumers’ needs. The products and services that could be exchanged in the healthcare platform model include drugs and physician services.

The medical practitioners can join the platform, and post the drugs and services they could be offering. The patients will join the platform and request for medical services and drugs to heal them of the conditions they could have developed.

Image courtesy of MarsDD

The main players in the platform business model in the world are Alexa developed by Amazon, Health Suite Labs by Phillips and Healthineers by Siemens.

Alexa offers voice services to patients who could be seeking solutions to their health needs and helps guide the prescriptions and delivery of drugs to the patients. Health Suite offers a collaborative system that allows the cooperation between healthcare service providers and consumers. Healthineers helps care providers to serve their patients better by offering a virtual environment where records and information about patients are collected and acted upon by relevant medical personnel.

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Why is the platform model so effective?

The platform model promises to change the provision of healthcare services and products in a more effective way. The model promises to eliminate the logistical challenges that often affect the quality and efficiency of healthcare services that patients receive. With people now able to log on to their platform accounts and contact their medical experts directly, it will be possible to overcome some of the traditional challenges to healthcare.

The platform model will have a largely positive impact on the startup businesses that will be able to harness the existing technological infrastructure to deliver on-demand healthcare services. Such businesses will certainly see a surge in profits, which will work to improve the healthcare economy across the world.

As the advancements in technology continue flourishing, it is possible for medical experts to set up virtual hospitals on other existing platforms. Doctors can set up virtual hospitals on popular platforms like Facebook and deliver their services to patients from across the world.

It is clear that the platform model is changing the way business is undertaken across all the industries and niches of business. It is clear that with the current performance, where many people are turning to platforms like Alexa, Healthineers and HealthSuite Labs, the future looks bright for healthcare platform models.

The platform model is likely to interrupt the traditional models of business. It is apparent that as more people grow accustomed to online products and services, the traditional models of business across all industries, including healthcare, will be affected in a significant and negative way.

It is clear that going forward, the platform model will be the prevailing trend in the health sector. Organizations that will maintain traditional approaches alone will certainly fail to compete and end up losing their current share of the market.

Image credit: Respective companies

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