4 healthcare leaders envision the healthcare ecosystem of the future

January 12, 2022

Having an ecosystem mindset is crucial for the healthcare industry’s future success.

When that mindset is put into action, stakeholders in the industry work together as a team to reorient healthcare’s focus toward the patient and achieve the quadruple aim.

The industry isn’t there yet, but forward-thinking leaders who embrace the ecosystem mindset are working to create a true ecosystem in healthcare. This is what they envision for the healthcare ecosystem of the future — growing pains and all.

Transitioning power to the patients

One of the key components of the healthcare ecosystem of the future is that it is patient-driven. But that transformation won’t happen overnight.

Mike McSherry, CEO of Xealth, noted industry dynamics will shift as organizations work toward the ecosystem vision.

“You have employer-based solutions, payer-based solutions, provider-based solutions and anything in between,” he said, acknowledging that many industry stakeholders develop independent solutions for each new challenge in healthcare. “Until all of that consolidates to improve patient outcomes in a substantive way, you’re going to have more fragmentation before it coalesces.”

Transformation doesn’t happen overnight, but once it does, leaders agree that around the corner lies an industry that puts humans at the center — not organizations.

“Eventually, it will be patients who drive the ecosystem,” said Devin Soelberg, vice president of business development and strategic partnerships at Redox.

Giving the power of choice

In a human-driven healthcare ecosystem, patients will be empowered to make choices about their care that are right for them.

Soelberg likened it to the financial industry, where consumers can choose which apps to download and manage their accounts and aren’t tethered to one or another.

“I’m the one deciding what I need and what apps and digital assets I’m going to use. To me, that’s what every successful ecosystem eventually gets to,” he said.

The power of choice will apply to all humans experiencing healthcare — patients and providers alike, said Joe Rizk, vice president of partnerships at MATTER.

“It’s an environment where consumers have more of a choice on how they’re treated. I think physicians have more of a choice in how they want to treat their patients and ultimately what we’ll see as a result of that is patients living longer, healthier lives,” he said.

That means humans will have the choice and flexibility to personalize their experience and care journey.

“The healthcare ecosystem of the future strives to provide high-quality care for everyone,” said Nick Dougherty, vice president of digital for AllWays Health Partners. “That means we must build systems that are flexible and dynamic enough to meet people’s unique preferences with programs that work for them.”

The future of the healthcare ecosystem looks bright. Next week, we’ll explore what industry leaders are doing right now to create it.