In our quarterly column, Dytter founder André reflects sharply on healthcare and the state of affairs surrounding the revolution that our platform is unleashing. In this second column, André answers the question why healthcare needs a booking platform.
Something extraordinary is going on in healthcare. You see, there are some trends coming together, which creates a special momentum at the intersection of healthcare and technology.
First of all, as consumers, we can easily search and pay for services and products through online platforms. It’s possible, and by now we’re used to doing so. Second of all, we’re not only used to doing so, but even used to doing so from the comfort of our own pockets: through our phones. Number three. Digital security is something we’re pretty much in control of. That’s because by now, we’ve learned what can go wrong and we’ve devised the laws and technology to prevent this. Examples are laws like General Data Protection Regulation or the encryption of personal data.
Number four. We have developed artificial intelligence. People tend to overcomplicate this. But the gist is that the existing technology adjusts itself to fit our needs and preferences, based on data that is automatically collected and analyzed. Finally: private and public sectors are transferring to a new business model. The platform-model that was mentioned in the first trend. So: users search, book, and pay for their products and services via an online platform – this is called the platform economy. You know this from eBay or Airbnb.
All these trends taken together means that healthcare can be done very differently as well. Namely, through such a platform. How? By getting rid of the old model, which is still old-fashioned and top-down. To be precise: from up top, the government distributes budget among healthcare insurers, who then divide the budget among healthcare organizations, where they pay healthcare providers to help their clients.
The care that the recipient eventually receives takes that route as well. Even though this route is not a good fit for what the care recipient actually wants or needs. That, among other factors, is cause for a shortage of healthcare professionals. And it is the cause of care recipients not always geting what they want.
An example. Let’s start with the old, or current, situation. Recipient A wants some company for an hour a day, someone to help her with her compression stockings in the morning, and someone to help her with her medication at night. But that care recipient receives an indication and a previously composed package based on budgets and agreements with healthcare insurers, who’ve received a certain amount from the government.
Okay. Same example, but in a new situation, with the platform-model. Recipient B can log onto the platform. There they find volunteers, freelancers, and healthcare organizations that offer all kinds of services. They can pick and choose what suits them, for example a volunteer that comes by for an hour, providing company, and a freelance healthcare professional that comes by every morning and night to help with the stockings and medication. The care recipients can pay directly, and they can declare it at their health insurance.
The good news is, we’re already doing it. As I've told you before in this column: think about eBay or Airbnb. The bad news is that the way we have organized healthcare is still via the old model. But, you will see that that’s going to change. Just as every other sector is moving towards the new platform model, from taxi’s to restaurants, so is healthcare.
We’ve already built the platform, which is Dytter. We’re ready. In the meantime, the way healthcare is organized now, we can connect healthcare providers with healthcare organizations through Dytter. But we’re working towards a big step, where we can all work together faster, smarter, and cheaper. So government, will you move with us?