10.6.1 Is Your Business Model Disruptive?

If you co-opted the ehealth model is it still capable of changing business processes within your organisation or has the model itself been modified to fit the business processes? A classic case of a co-opted ehealth model that has ceased to be disruptive is the NHS’s ‘NPfIT’. In a freestanding form the NPfIT had the potential to be highly disruptive within the UK healthcare sector, delivering healthcare to undeserved patients and lowering the cost of care to those already being served. However, pressure on IT suppliers to modify applications to suit legacy business processes that were already in place, and were not going to be changed, resulted in a model that merely automates rather than disrupts the NHS’s existing business model.

If you are a next generation healthcare provider is your ehealth service delivering healthcare to patients who are not served by the incumbent healthcare provider? If you have a service that targets the preventative healthcare market sector the answer to this question is most likely to be ‘yes’. In that case you should be looking to extend the service so that it also delivers healthcare to patients who are underserved by the incumbent. These are patients who are either on long waiting lists or are unhappy with the level, or type, of care they receive when they do get an appointment.

If you are delivering healthcare services to the incumbent provider’s undeserved patients are you doing this in co-operation with the incumbent provider? If the answer to this question is ‘yes’ then have you compromised your business model to accommodate the needs of the incumbent provider? You may need to ensure you are still devoting resources to developing and promoting your original ehealth model. This is especially important as you will need to ensure your company has access to new Internet based technologies such as intelligent medical search, patient profiling and hosted electronic patient records that, during the coming decade, will prove highly disruptive within the healthcare market.