The actual Uber app of Medicine may one day arrive. For the time-being, though, would-be bidders must use crooked inner-circles. My point? Apps expose and fulfill laissez-a-faire currents rather than perpetuate them.
Exclusive car services were around way before Uber or Lyft. Ditto for exclusive renters’ circles and Airbnb. They merely broaden and popularize a channel that exists anyway. If anything, such apps offer some level of surety to customers. But what business-to-business transactions? Disruptive apps making headlines are almost always B2C. B2B apps, however, may have an even more “disruptive” presence in the near future. I’m looking at you, medicine!
Airbnb and co. enable. They create a platform for like-minded consumers to find, and bid, on services. It broadens the opportunity of service providers and the options of their customers. Prices adjust anyway. Now that guy taxi-ing out of Harlem is less likely to get a raw deal -and to find a ride in the first place.
So the question is not if medicine will Uberize. It’s a question of when. Of course, there is also how medicine will adopt this technology, that, for all we know, will expose profiteering cabals within profiteering cabals. The strangeness of apps is that they juxtapose scarcity with demand. Prospects collectively view options and make a more educated choice.
Medicine and similar industries are under the thrall of supply. Breakthroughs are hard…replication is easy. The US’s particular reliance on patents, and defense of them, is not mind-boggling. Patients are not exclusively buying a good -they are paying for its cumulative research and training costs. Let’s leave its fairness to coffee-sipping ideologues.
Mounting service premiums are the real challenge for most standardized industries. Medicine again makes a great point. Hospitals can charge patients an arm-and-a-leg. This is not because they should. It’s because they have supplies to purchase, insurance to cover, staff to keep trained, etc. This adds up quite quickly.
Suppliers, meanwhile, benefit from less governmental oversight. They are also the foundation for industry advancement. Are prices being jacked? Hospitals and similar organizations don’t know. And if so, how is their supply service combating it? Medical professionals have lots of reasons to push for more transparency. It will validate costs at the very least.
People hear Uber and think B2C. This element also holds appeal to medicine and other industries. Such apps may not work within a profit schema either. For instance, emergency room visitors can certainly do with an app offering live reports on immediate availability. Any service that necessitates home visits, including medicine, can also benefit.
While novel, and maybe profitable, B2C is less likely to rock foundations or “disrupt,” as techies and wacked-out protesters are so fond of saying. Some industries certainly need disruption. It will be interesting to see when this scalable model gains more ground…or is ever implemented by the state.