I’m on the verge of a sinus infection. Crusty, bloodshot, and watery eyes, slight cough, headache, congestion — you know the symptoms.
A predicament I find myself in at least twice a year. It’s almost routine. I have popped a few Airborne tablets hoping to stave it off. I know the outcome, though. Three days of misery, cough syrup, antibiotics, and oh yes, rest.
So my options right now are to prolong the agony and schedule an appointment to see my doctor on Monday, or go now to the small clinic at the grocery store that does not require an appointment. The clinic is staffed by a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant, and I already know what I need — antibiotics. Fast and easy.
John Mauldin, one of the best economic and investment writers that I have followed for years says, “The most important economic phenomenon of our time is rising productivity.” He says several industries are ripe for disruption. One is healthcare.
John says, “Healthcare is so massively broken that its disruption will come easy and happen fast. Hundreds of startups are working to make you the ‘CEO of your own health’ — to augment (or replace) doctors and hospitals.”
“I expect new AI-enabled healthcare options to be free or near-free, and so much better that people will forgo traditional medical care in favor of these superior options. This will cause today’s healthcare system to crater.”
So think libraries in an age of Google and Amazon.
Think traditional wired landlines in an age of mobile telephony.
Think taxis in an age of Uber.
So what’s coming?
John Mauldin says, “The $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE will give birth to devices that allow you, the consumer, to self-diagnose, anytime, anywhere.”
So if you are like me, and you are sick (pardon the pun) of going to the doctor just to get what you already know you need. Good news! Companies like Walgreens and CVS are working to become your healthcare center.
It’s happening right before our eyes. This small clinic located in my supermarket is open evenings and weekends. Their prices are much lower than the $100 office visit to my primary physician plus the restructuring of my entire day is not productive.
Yes with technology there will be winners and losers. In this situation, the consumer will win big time. In the long run, clinics will become more efficient. Soon it will become technologically practical to be evaluated by a “computer” physician in the convenience of your home that is backed up by a human physician. The healthcare industry will deliver more health care by fewer human workers.
This isn’t a dream; all of it is already in development. Increased productivity, lower prices, new technologies and inventions that are disrupting established thought and industry.
It’s an exciting time to be alive if you are embracing change and making necessary adjustments. We all are finding ways to accomplish what we want faster, better, and cheaper. This is a trend that will continue and even accelerate.
So what are you doing in your business to make things fast and easy?