How techies can heal a sick healthcare system

Most healthcare entrepreneurs are techies , and love coming up with technological solutions for all the problems which plague the healthcare system. They believe that doctors are technically challenged dinosaurs, and that their tech fixes will heal the sick healthcare system.
However, I wish they would remember that doctors aren’t dummies – they got into medical college because they are very bright and hard-working.
The startup’s worldview is flawed because they fail to look at the world through the doctor’s lens. They offer a top-down solution, and don’t even bother to ask the doctor what they want !
They forget that doctors are a very heterogeneous group, who don’t think of themselves as being just doctors – they think of themselves as being ophthalmologists or plastic surgeons or endocrinologists – all of whom have very different needs !
One size can never fit all, and you need to craft a solution for each particular doctor’s problem. The issue is that even if you solve an individual doctor’s problems perfectly, this doesn’t mean that your solution will scale , because each doctor has a very different style of practising, and wants everything to be customised to fit his personal preference.
This means you need to be able to provide a solution which is so flexible that the doctor can tweak it for his own needs , on the fly.
The problem is that typically technologists want the doctor to change his ways , and this is never going to happen, because doctors rightfully believe they know what’s best for them .
A good technological solution will adapt to the doctor’s preferences , rather than force the doctor to change his work-flow. Of course, this is much harder to pull off , and this is one of the reasons why Health Tech companies fail so miserably .
The truth is that doctors have a disproportionate amount of power in the healthcare ecosystem , and we need to acknowledge that they act as gatekeepers and influencers. Patients will do anything which their doctor tells them to do , but a doctor won’t tell them to do it unless he is convinced that this can help him.
The good news is that doctors care for their patients, which is why they became doctors in the first place ! They treasure their personal relationship with their patients, and healthcare startups which nurture this, and make doctors the heroes of their offering will do well !

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