When the pandemic hit, everything went virtual seemingly overnight. And in healthcare, this seismic shift amplified the already-in-motion trend to digitize everything having to do with medicine, from getting your doctor to check that weird mole via video to receiving near-instantaneous results on an MRI.
Here’s why: Consumers are now more involved in their health decisions than ever before, whether it’s doing research on Google about that mole or exploring clinical trials for cancer. That’s because consumers are now more on the hook for healthcare costs, a shift from when insurance companies took on most—if not all—of the risk.
And now Amazon, the corporate behemoth dominating virtually every sector, is entering the healthcare space with Amazon Care. Their consumer-centric service includes virtual medical visits (24/7/365) and even—get this—in-person care delivered right in the patient’s home.
While Amazon Care was originally created as a benefit for their own employees, Amazon is now semi-quietly rolling out the service to employers outside their ecosystem. Long-term industry players may be reeling from the jolt of this move, but it’s as clear a signal as any: there’s no time to waste if they want to stay ahead of the Amazon wave.
Healthcare manufacturers, in particular, know they need to respond by creating products and services that are as digitally savvy as the devices consumers carry in their pockets. And because healthcare providers that buy these machines face ever-growing margin pressures, they’re increasingly looking for digital solutions that give them increased efficiency, better outcomes, and reduced costs.
In plain English? The future isn’t just about making machines and selling them to big healthcare orgs to replace their current machines. It’s about the equipment-as-a-service-ification of healthcare from top to bottom.