The Dot-Com of Health Care

Dot-coms, real estate and just about any other industry you can imagine has had its bubble period of rapid growth leading up to a burst and a reconstruction and rebuilding at a slower, more sustainable pace.

There’s no reason to think health care won’t be the same, but what part of the industry has more hype than substance?

Could it be one of these?

1. Large, established health care systems?

Health care systems are growing by leaps and bounds (often by massive consolidation). Are the tech startups and clinics started by tech startups and tech startups started by clinics going to cause our large healthcare systems to suffer because of their lack of agility?

2. Telemedicine?

The optimists of telemedicine would tell you that it’s going to change the world and some day we will be receiving the majority our care in this way. Some of the naysayers say it’s not as good as in-person. Like most things, it’s probably somewhere in between.

3. Home visits?

This is one I’m really struggling with. I see start-ups tinkering in this area. But, it is really expensive to send a medical provider to a house to provide care for a single patient. Who will come up with a sustainable business model?

4. Augmented and virtual reality?

Augmented reality had its debut in “health care” last year with Pokemon Go. But, if it wasn’t sustainable with all the resources, buzz and initial adoption, who’s going to create a viable solution?

5. Wearables?

I think we’re already seeing this fizzle out. Usage decreasing, no studies proving benefit and many of the major companies either attempting major pivots or dying out altogether. This might be the first one to fully burst (if you wouldn’t consider it burst already).

The landscape of health care is changing. Payor models, relationship with government and employers could all change in a way to harm or benefit one of these ideas...but which will it be?

Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.

Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles.Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” is set to open in Trophy Club in 2017.