Where Vision Meets Tactics
To paraphrase a quote from entrepreneur Vinod Khosla, we’re staying true to our vision, even if we’re aware that our tactics need be fluid. Healthcare encapsulates, metaphorically, the distinction between climate and weather: Climate is a slow progression, evolving slowly over years and decades and centuries, while the weather can shift from minute to minute, depending on volatile atmospheric conditions. In many ways, healthcare hasn’t changed much in decades. In others, however, the winds are always swirling.
This has been readily observable during the now more than a year and a half since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing and implementing digital health solutions went from nice but peripheral ideas to urgent priorities. Healthcare deliverers of all size and complexity rapidly determined how to connect with patients remotely yet meaningfully. Patients recalibrated their own relationships with healthcare, making decisions about risk tolerance and their preferences for how their providers communicated with them and helped them to manage their health.
And, yet, so much is the same. As COVID stubbornly lingers, there is concern around waivers for even limited telehealth reimbursement expiring, and heightened awareness of societal and geographic disparities in digital health literacy and access to reliable internet connections. This creates a paradox we in healthcare need to collaboratively and proactively address. Increasing rates of providers, patients, and other stakeholders, including payers, are expressing interest in expanding use of digital modalities. But access to those modalities remains constrained by antiquated policies and assumptions.
The private sector is the fastest to respond, typically. This has pros and cons. As we’ve seen in the last year, an outcome can be quick oversaturation of a particular market segment with little differentiation or guidance for users around which product or service best meets their needs, and has the best chance for long-term viability. The industry itself can equally be left reeling. Providers, employers, and payers are overwhelmed with trying to service their dedicated audiences, and to manage crisis-level business operations. Asking them to focus attention on new workflows is challenging.
We remain confident in our trajectory. We are firm in our conviction that we cannot singlehandedly overhaul healthcare delivery. The system is too entrenched, and too diffuse. What we can do is identify areas for optimization and cooperative impact. Health in Motion Network’s focus on the pharmacist as an essential frontline healthcare provider has plenty of independent merit. Pharmacies are generally more convenient for patients to reach, and pharmacists are talented, trusted care managers. We also know there is a glut of data out there that needs to be centralized to be useful.
To achieve our mission, we’re working with various partners who play unique but complementary roles in healthcare. We’re open to the ideas that come our way. And we’re actively communicating our message out. Because when the winds are swirling like this, the best response is to adjust your sails accordingly.