What healthcare can learn from retail's direct-to-consumer disruption

In recent years, the decades-old behemoths of the retail industry have seen sales numbers and customer bases dwindle as startups have exploited their predecessors' reluctance to change — a cautionary tale for the similarly slow-moving healthcare industry.

An adapted excerpt of the upcoming book Billion Dollar Brand Club published in The New York Times describes the forward-thinking, tech-friendly mentality that allowed new companies such as Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker, Glossier and Away, for example, to completely disrupt the grooming, eyewear, makeup and luggage sectors, respectively.

Per author Lawrence Ingrassia, "By targeting a corporate giant's weakness — high prices or inconvenience or a stodgy image — a clever startup with the right strategy, the right message and the right product value could create a new national brand virtually overnight."

The leaders of these and other startups recognize that the technology and globalization trends of the 21st century have created a window for companies without large advertising budgets, manufacturing plants, research and development funding and other formerly crucial resources to be successful.

A similar change is occurring in healthcare, where technology-led telehealth startups are increasingly cutting out provider middlemen to build their own networks of physicians and directly offer consumers prescriptions, lab tests, urgent care appointments and more. Traditional healthcare providers may not be as completely replaceable as legacy retail brands have proven to be, but they will surely see similarly plummeting levels of consumer engagement if they resist the technology and patient-first mindset driving the success of disruptive startups such as Doctor on Demand, 23andMe, Hims & Hers and others.

Read the full excerpt here.

More articles on consumerism:
New Uber Health partnership expands medical transportation offerings
University Health System develops mobile wayfinding platform for patient navigation
74% of consumer experience leaders expect bigger budgets in 2020: 3 things to know

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