Technology and healthcare cannot help but continue to converge, and those who are savvy are positioning themselves to capitalise upon the exciting new business opportunities. More and more players are beginning to enter the space, recognising and seizing upon trends and new tactics. In fact, many in the industry are aware of the recent business reports announcing that Qliance Medical Group has now raised more than $13.5 million from investors, including Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos and Dell founder Michael Dell. Quite an interesting move from successful tech veterans who are now starting to see the implications of healthcare and digital. But one of the most interesting questions surrounding this investment deal just might be how Qliance will best use part of the capital in mobile expansion in order to further differentiate its business in the new frontier of healthcare offerings and ensure high return to its investors?
To answer this question, one has to look at a bit at Qliance’s business model. For those who are not aware, Qliance is a primary health care membership offering-of-sorts. The company provides an interesting take on an original model called “concierge” health care, a service once accessible only by very affluent individuals who could afford to pay hundreds (or thousands) per month for health care coverage in exchange for receiving deeper, more attentive care and physician/HCP access. Qliance, however, targets middle-class households with a comparable concept and costs $50-$130 per month, depending on age. The coverage works like this: the subscriber receives unlimited care from his/her doctor for a flat monthly fee — no health insurance necessary. The patient can visit his/her doctor on one day’s notice as many times as the patient want sand get email answers for to questions. The coverage also provides advice, basic tests, treatment for chronic conditions, simple emergency procedures and preventative care.
And herein lies the opportunity.
For, if the concierge method is, at its foundation, about attentiveness and access; deepening the offering via the proper mobile phone strategy could be key in meeting consumers’ needs and driving the business model.
Doctors don’t seem to have a great deal of time to tutor their patients about their illnesses. Emails can not only take a great deal of time; but they can also be challenging for an elderly end-user to manage and organise. Emails are also, unless there are a variety of bells and whistles inserted as images, not very engaging. Thus it would seem that Qliance could benefit from from a deliberate provision of good quality information about either a condition, or its treatment, its potential outcomes and possible side effects via mobile. From specific applications to text messaging to (and here’s where it might make the most vital difference in recovery and adherence to therapy) mobile community creation for patients with similar illnesses; if Qliance gets mobile “right”, the company will not only be able to set precedents but increase patient engagement by offering greater value while creating new revenue streams in the process via such tactics as additional in-app purchase opportunities and more. With the proper use of investment capital in consultants and software development, a healthcare revolution could be actually be sparked right here.
To wit, Vint Cerf (known as one of the “fathers of the Internet”) just said recently during a TED talk that chronic conditions cost the United States more per capita than anything else in the healthcare system. He suggested, “If we were able to harness the electronic healthcare system to provide incentives for people to respond to those problems, to take better care of themselves, then we would reduce a lot of the system costs, simply because we had a more healthy population.” What if companies like Qliance could provide introductory digital methods which would then lead to the further adoption of expanded electronic healthcare which could then lead to Cerf’s ultimate vision? The business and social implications of such fruition are truly staggering.
There is always a great deal riding in business, moreso with the influx of new investment capital. But the winners will be those who creatively integrate mobile/emerging technology into healthcare options for Americans.