This IDC Market Perspective examines start-ups in the Canadian healthcare market. The disruption occurring in the Canadian healthcare market is not quite the same as in the industries that witnessed the disappearance of Kodak and Blockbuster or the arrival of Airbnb and Uber. Yet the disruption healthcare is experiencing is related. Technology is also replacing the way we seek certain medical care and shifted the relationship patients have with the healthcare system. Smartphones, smartwatches, and other devices allow people to monitor their sleep, follow their diet, and directly interact with their physician. While technology has not yet got to the point of dismantling Canada's single-payer system, it is changing the expectations patients have of their healthcare providers.
"Unfortunately, the current healthcare system cannot get close to meeting the expectations of the digital economy," says Mark Schrutt, strategic advisor, Innovation and Public Sector research. The desire is there. Clinicians and patients alike want to communicate together as patients progress through the cycle of care. Hospitals also want to tap into the innovation community. Consumers of healthcare are the same people that use Airbnb on their vacation or hail rides from Uber. They know what is available, stream video on demand, and shop at Amazon. And where consumer-facing technologies are available for medical care, they have proven to help patients become more knowledgeable about healthcare and more aware of the treatments available, better manage their own health, and have more satisfying relationships with their caregivers. These are profound changes, which will lead to further disruption in the primary care market.