Members of the health care advisory board were asked, “If you could advise a young businessperson on a health care sector to pursue, what would you recommend?” Here are their answers.
JOHN DINEEN: The two areas that have tremendous potential in terms of their application in health care are IT and molecular medicine, from both business and technology standpoints. There is going to be tremendous adoption of IT, especially given the fact that health care is way behind other industries in terms of IT use. We’re talking about patient information, basic digitization, connectivity, moving information around, and using big data and analytics to deal with population health. In molecular medicine, the fundamental science in both diagnostics and treatment is changing from chemistry and physiology to biology. That’s sequencing, that’s immunohistochemistry, that’s cell therapies. From a businessperson’s perspective, these are high-tech, high-growth industries where a lot of money is going to be put to work.
STEPHEN J. IMMELT: Information technology within health care is a rich environment for creating products that providers, hospitals, physicians, and others in the sector can deploy to deal with competitive pressures. There is an enormous need to have the ability to analyze and process information to drive quality and efficiency. Also, people today want to understand and manage their own health care. So I see a lot of potential in developing ways to help consumers better understand what they can do to monitor and manage their general well-being as well as manage disease. Maybe it’s a device or an app or a behavior-changing program, products and services along those lines, which can empower people and make them feel more connected to what they need to do to improve their day-to-day health.
ELIZABETH J. FOWLER: Get involved in efforts to help the health system achieve the “triple aim” – improved health outcomes, better population health, and lower cost – whether that would be through a hospital, a provider group, or one of the new start-ups being developed to help providers and patients.
JEFFREY B. KINDLER: If someone is entrepreneurial and excited about the opportunities that start-ups create, there are tremendous opportunities for creative, thoughtful, educated, and smart people to participate in all of the thousands of start-ups that are addressing challenges in the health care system. For somebody who would rather participate in an existing business, I would suggest the health care IT companies – some of which are payers that are doing really interesting and creative things. A lot of companies are changing their models to address new opportunities for people, and there is a lot of innovation going on even at big corporations. Also, health care is so influenced by public policy and the regulatory and legislative environment that if someone were so inclined, there is a great deal of opportunity in getting involved at the government level, at least for some period of time to learn about it. Having the combination of a business degree and a deep understanding of the public policy environment around health care would make someone a very strong potential asset for any number of companies in the health care industry.
CHRISTOPHER W. KERSEY: To use a baseball analogy, we are in the second inning of an extra-inning game in terms of how far we have begun to leverage technology to improve health care. Companies that focus on using software to enable providers as well as payers to deliver more cost-efficient and higher-quality health care represent a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity.