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  • Writer's pictureCraigRhinehart

Capitalizing on Healthcare Disruption

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

One of the best books on business strategy is The Art of War by Sun Tzu. It was written sometime around 512 BC … and is actually about military strategy. I have read it several times over the years and many of the lessons it contains apply directly to business today.

In thinking about the current healthcare transformation, I am reminded of my favorite quote from Tzu’s book, "In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity."

Disruption in Healthcare

Healthcare organizations are dealing with a nearly impossible amount of change. Most of it is not optional and the amount of disruption is difficult to comprehend for outsiders. The future health (pardon the pun) of today’s healthcare businesses depend on the actions they take in the next few years. Some organizations will take steps to acquire or be acquired … some will implement other strategies to sustain themselves and grow … and some (unfortunately) will go out of business.

Standing still is not an option. Survival in the healthcare industry of tomorrow requires participants (payers and providers) to change their priorities, develop and implement new skills and leverage new technologies.

As the shift to value based business models becomes mainstream, successful organizations will have …

  1. A priority and focus on their customer (patient) relationships

  2. A clear and differentiating value proposition from their competitors

  3. A technology enabled approach that monetizes and maximizes their value

The Business of Healthcare Has To Change

Doing things the same old way won’t work in tomorrow’s healthcare value based economy. What will they do when they are not paid for volume any more?

In other industries, businesses have a core strategy and operating principles that drive their value … and are the basis for customer loyalty …

  1. Lowest Cost – Walmart, McDonalds, Holiday Inn, Southwest Airlines, etc.

  2. Most Innovative – Apple, Tesla, Under Armour, Amazon, etc.

  3. Best Quality – Ritz Carlton, Mercedes Benz, Bose, Harley Davidson, etc.

What steps are you taking to quantify and monetize your value?

Transformations In Business

We are at a unique point in time. The amount of transformation combined with current technological change presents a once-in-a-lifetime set of circumstances.

Many organizations are simply dealing with their transformation requirements as they come up one by one … just checking the boxes. A smaller group is looking at transformation more opportunistically and not as set of items that must be “dealt” with.

If this wasn’t daunting enough, there are major technology shifts and breakthroughs happening simultaneously.

Major Shifts in Business

Major shifts include Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile (Smartphones), Big Data, Analytics and Population Health. These all represent new or improved ways of doing things.

Cognitive Computing

Cognitive Computing is more fundamental. It is a new computing paradigm that is changing computing as we know it. Today, computers do what they have been programmed to do. The cognitive computing model is based on learning from outcomes. It does not depend on upfront programming.

I recently blogged about taking advantage of cognitive computing innovation in several recent posts:

Since standing still is not an option. What are you doing to create advantages?

Healthcare data will continue to explode … so why not harness it and use it for your business advantage?


  1. Data flows from every device – replacing guessing with precise data

  2. 8000 research papers / new clinical trial information published every day1

  3. 88% of healthcare data is unstructured (Dark Data) and of little use2

  4. Key outcome data (social determinants, behavioral) often not available

By 2020 …

  1. 7MB of new data will created every second, for every person on the planet

  2. Average person’s medical data – equivalent to 300 million books of information

  3. The total amount of stored medical data will double every 73 days

Business Disruption

Established companies are being disrupted faster than ever before. The average company lifespan on S&P 500 Index (top performer) has shrunk from over 60 years in 1961 to under 20 years in 2012.

75% of current S&P 500 Index companies will be replaced by 2027.

According to Accenture, 93% of executives believe their long-term success is dependent on their ability to innovate.

I blogged about the five areas of general business that Cognitive Computing will impact the most in Innovation in the Cognitive Era. I also discussed some of detailed implications in a recent interview with Open Minds entitled The Future Of Care Coordination? It’s Elementary, Watson

We are at the beginning of a perfect storm of disruption that could catapult your organization forward if taken advantage of. Why not use Cognitive Computing to create, capture and monetize value as you transform? Sun Tzu certainly would.

I will be speaking about all of this as part of my keynote address at the upcoming Open Minds Technology and Informatics Institute in Washington DC on November 10-11th.  I hope to see you there.

As always, leave me your thoughts and ideas here.


1 – CBS Sixty Minutes – October 2016

2 – IBM

3 – Innosight

4 – Academy for Corporate Entrepreneurship


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