Tech companies like Open Table and Uber are revolutionizing the way consumers get access to the things they need. Supply and demand is truly being optimized as new technologies allow consumers more control than ever before. When compared to the restaurant and transportation markets, healthcare remains pre-historic in terms of utilizing B to C technologies.
In order to gain some insight on the future of the healthcare industry, I sat down with Alex Piguet, VP of Strategic Accounts at Everseat to talk about healthcare trends.
ZW: What is your role at Everseat?
AP: My primary role is introducing the supply and demand technology that Everseat provides to large corporate and enterprise accounts such as hospitals and other academic institutions.
ZW: What is the most important problem that Everseat solves?
AP: The biggest issue we solve is giving the patient timely access to their providers through a free, and easy to use application. Our platform serves a purpose, both on the client side as well as the consumer side. Everseat helps our clients run their operations more efficiently, while at the same time helping the consumer get in to see their providers in a timely fashion.
ZW: What are your thoughts on the future of healthcare?
AP: I think the future of healthcare is digital. As new mHealth apps and wearable technologies become the norm, the scheduling of appointments is primarily going to take place online. Think of what platforms like Uber and Expedia have done for travel. Healthcare is behind every other industry in that regard, but it is slowly catching up. Down the road, fewer interactions on the healthcare side will be handled via phone as more and more patients find further uses for their smartphones. In the near future, everyone will be booking medical appointments through smartphone apps, like Everseat.
ZW: How can going digital help hospitals and other service providers with consumer engagement?
AP: Hospitals can benefit from going digital because it’s the most efficient method of communicating with their patients. More and more people have smartphones and have access to the Internet. This accessibility benefits providers because the consumers are more likely to be engaged on this level. Also, with HCHAP scores being directly linked to hospital reimbursement down the road, the patient satisfaction piece should be of huge interest to major health networks.
ZW: What type of pushback do you receive from service providers who are interested in the app?
AP: Hospital leadership will often say: “We already have a portal/scheduling app.” My response to that is: That’s great you already have an app for your practice that you think makes things easier for your patients. However, your patient also has a chiropractor, a cardiologist, a vet for their pets, a pediatrician for their kids, and the list goes on. It isn’t helpful for the patient to have a dozen different scheduling apps for each provider for them and every member of their family. We solve this problem by integrating with a large number of EMRs and practice management systems. This enables us to be the singular, patient-focused scheduling app for the consumer, which results in a much better experience for them.
ZW: What recent business trends do you see Everseat following?
AP: The trend of increased consumer control and power is definitely the one that comes to mind. As we move through different phases of our startup, we are seeing patients that are utilizing the app for their hair salon or their veterinarian, who then go into their primary care provider and ask them why they aren’t using Everseat. We hope to get to the point where businesses and practitioners simply sign up for Everseat to keep up with their patients’ demands.
This last question brought up a very current trend, as we have seen in the case of Uber and the taxi industry. Uber’s main focus was the consumer. Instead of trying to improve the taxicab itself, Uber focused on the source, and set out to make things as easy and seamless as possible for the consumer. Healthcare, in many ways, is still thinking about how to improve the taxi, instead of concentrating on the true focus, the patient. When a group of service providers becomes rigid and unwilling to embrace new technologies, they will eventually get replaced.
In the case of healthcare, as with other industries, the most successful businesses will be those who are the most advanced, or the early adopters. Those businesses are the ones who will set the trend for rest of the healthcare industry and are the future of the industry.