What is the goal? Are we trying to create an equitable system that addresses systemic inequity?
Or are we trying to maximize return on investment?
The thing about a return on investment in today’s landscape is that it does not even require a profitable business.
It requires a high valuation.
A high valuation that leads to the next funding round, payouts, and exits.
We are chasing and rewarding valuations, investments, funding rounds, revenue growth at any cost and forgetting that the point of it all is to deliver healthcare.
Better healthcare to more people.
Go and visit any of the high flying unicorn digital health companies and they all have hired the same washed up mission statement writer that has been plastering platitudes all over beige office building walls since the 1980’s.
High flying unicorn digital health coDigital health companies are hiring the same washed-up mission-statement-writer that has been plastering platitudes all over beige office building walls since the 1980's. Click To Tweet
“We are transforming healthcare through our digital first platform that enables consumers to access the care they need faster at lower costs. Our goal is to recreate the healthcare system that prioritizes access and quality…”
And yet, a cursory scan of the website quickly gives way to the pricing page where you have the opportunity to pay a monthly subscription fee or a per visit fee.
For the low cost of $145 per month you have access to our expert care team.
That team? Health coaches, dieticians, case managers.
Where is the improved access to healthcare?
Where is the Medicare coverage?
How are single working parents on Medicaid supposed to shell out 50 bucks per visit?
Where are the army of doctors waiting in the wings poised to give you better care and save you money?
How are you even saving money?
Sounds like more out-of-pocket expenses.
Even in the business models, the goal, as previously mentioned, is higher and bigger valuations.
Revenue growth is what matters.
Teladoc, the darling publicly traded telehealth company has yet to turn a profit. In fact it posted a loss of $84 Million on revenue of over $2B!
And where are the results?
Teladoc, the darling publicly traded telehealth company has yet to turn a profit. In fact it posted a loss of $84 Million on revenue of over $2B! And where are the results? Click To Tweet
The studies showing improvement in health and improvement in outcomes?
The partnerships with physicians and clinicians driving actual change?
We are not going forward. We are right where we have always been.
No one is trying to lower costs. They are trying to get their share of the pie.
More revenue. More users. Higher valuations.
That’s the name of the game right now. It’s not the future of healthcare. It’s the future of Venture Capital funding into a highly lucrative space that shows no signs of slowing.