Disruptive Innovation has been the brass ring for technology companies ever since Clayton Christensen popularized the term in his seminal book The Innovator’s Dilemma in 1997. According to Christensen, disruptive innovation is:
“A process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.”
Disruption is more likely to occur, therefore, when you have a well established market with slow-moving large incumbents who are focused on incremental improvements rather than truly innovative offerings. Using this definition, healthcare has been ripe for innovation for a number of years. But where is the AirBNB/Uber/Google of healthcare?
On a recent #hcldr tweetchat we asked what disruptive healthcare technologies might emerge in 2017. By far the most popular response was Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.
— Selina Brudnicki (@sbrudnicki) January 11, 2017
— Ron George 🌎 (@Ron_George) January 11, 2017
Personally, I’m really excited about the potential of AI applied to diagnostics and decision support. There is just no way a single person can stay up to speed on all the latest clinical research while simultaneously remembering every symptom/diagnosis from the past. I believe that one day we will all be using AI assistance to guide our care – as common as we use a GPS today to help navigate unknown roads.
Some #hcldr participants, however, were skeptical of AI.
— Michael Sinha MD JD (@DrSinhaEsq) January 11, 2017
While I don’t think @IBMWatson is on the same trajectory as Theranos, there is merit to being wary of “over-hype” when it comes to new technologies. When a shining star like Theranos falls, it can set an entire industry back and stifle innovation in an area that may warrant investment. Can you imagine seeking funding for a technology that uses small amounts of blood to detect diseases right now? Too much hype can prematurely kill innovation.
Other potentially disruptive technologies that were raised during the chat included: #telehealth, #wearables, patient generated health data (#PDHD), combining #HealthIT with consumer services and #patientengagement.
— Joseph Babaian (@JoeBabaian) January 11, 2017
— Amanda (@LAlupusLady) January 11, 2017
— Carolyn Petersen (@SurvivorshipIT) January 11, 2017
— Mandi Bishop (@MandiBPro) January 11, 2017
— Kevin J. Fowler (@gratefull080504) January 11, 2017
The funniest and perhaps most thoughtful tweet came from @YinkaVidal, who warned us that innovations have a window of usefulness. What was once ground-breaking can be rendered junk by the next generation.
#hcldr T1 One time, fax machines were magic, today, they are been buried in the tomb on unknown innovators.
— Yinka Vidal (@YinkaVidal) January 11, 2017
What do you believe will be the disruptive healthcare technology to emerge in 2017?