Viewpoint: Why big tech will struggle in healthcare

Big tech may struggle with regulatory issues and product rollout issues in healthcare, according to Susan Lang, CEO of prescription drug consulting and analytics firm XIL Health as reported in EBN May 13. 

While tech companies are pushing into the healthcare space, Ms. Lang believes they won't become healthcare giants on a global scale given a range of issues in the industry. 

Ms. Lang said that minimally viable products are difficult in healthcare because it affects people's access to care. 

"Think about how tech companies can come up with minimally viable products, like the version 10 operating system from Microsoft. You could throw out that into the market, even if it has glitches. [But that's] not the same as making sure that people are actually getting the treatment and medicines they need correctly."

She also argued that healthcare is a highly regulated industry making it difficult to navigate. 

"When it comes to commercial health benefits, you’re dealing with 50 state laws, 50 state taxes and 50 state licenses. If you're playing in the Medicare and Medicaid space, there are even more regulations, on top of what's happening in commercial space," she said. 

Despite these difficulties, Ms. Lang believes that big tech companies will continue to push into the market.

"The reality so far is that healthcare is very complicated, and it takes a long time to penetrate," Ms. Lang said. 

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