Prologue to the analogies you know are coming: In a joint webinar last week, PatientIQ cofounder and CEO, Matt Gitelis, mentioned that he worked for many years on Wall Street before diving headfirst into healthcare tech. I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of Wall Street data needs and healthcare data needs that lead to desired outcomes. The kinds of historical data that are integral to investment decisions on the stock market are rarely available in healthcare for the benefit of patient populations. So I spent some time exploring the intersections of these industries, and this blog is a condensed version of that exploration.
Let’s start here: I made $95 from $TSLA once, so I’m something of an expert on the stock market. Now that we’ve put some respect on my name, I can admit that the title of this piece is eye-catching, but concerning. Given all that has recently exploded with GameStop, WallStreetBets, and hedge funds, the stock market is a volatile subject, and one that most people would not want to invade our already bloated and bureaucratic healthcare world. Truly understandable. Besides buying the dips with HSAs, what might be something we in healthcare can fundamentally learn from the stock market? My answer: When we invest in understanding that timelines drive insights for achieving a specified goal, we have a better grasp of how to serve a patient population. This is a bit of an obvious take, but one that has been slow to actualize within the provider space.
If the goal of trading stocks is to increase one’s
ego money, then understanding historic and current market conditions gives rich guys with physics-borne algorithms experts insight into when might be the right time to buy…or which companies would be best to short. (lol no shade)
On another side of the industrial cosmos, the goal of healthcare is to treat and sustain the health of a population. In order to truly achieve this, it is important to be aware of and understand the historic and current precedents of both an individual patient’s history as well as a population’s relationship to a particular illness or treatment.
Enter the current wave of patient engagement apps. I’ll use PatientIQ as an example since they inspired the connection.
From large incumbent entities, like Bank of America, to small credit unions, the APIs for consumer trading apps must be able to connect with them all if companies want to see scale. The same is exactly true for health tech, and particularly for companies that seek to exchange data with a variety of provider organizations. From large academic medical centers to small private clinics, Patient IQ is one that serves a broad range, and must integrate with an equally broad swath of EHRs. The strategy behind this is to reach as diverse of a population as possible so as to make the data actionable at the point of care.
On Wall Street, every stock is a patient that neither lives nor breathes, but manages to rise and fall (in value) within the constraints of time. PatientIQ and such companies’ main conceit is that every patient is valuable and understanding their timelines is also valuable. Moreover, all sides of the healthcare equation have a mutual investment in maintaining a patient’s healthy baseline, if not increasing their health. As data-driven entities, both the stock market and PatientIQ must rely on connections with the disparate systems in order to inform, drive, and populate these insights. As a result, both get the opportunity to focus on innovation without consuming engineering resources to constantly rewire back-end minutia. Who really has the time to set out the fires of a fickle API when Reddit is threatening to take over the world?
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