Health On-line - The Best Will Get Bigger
"The major medical centers of the United States already have the best brands, the best performance records, and the most customers. The Internet could make these institutions even more successful."
The McKinsey Quarterly, 2000 Number 4
- Internet use will transform local, low-return health care industry. Two basic features of the internet in this context are:
- Dissemination of knowledge: compare health center's performances, inform patients better;
- Ability to drive down interaction costs: on-line companies are able to offer bundling functions that were previously the exclusivity of medical centres. Lower-tier institutions may thus find themselves forced to limit their services to less serious/complex health problems and to affiliate with top-tier institutions.
- In 1999, an estimated 17.5 million people visited web sites offering health care information.
- It seems that prominent national and regional medical centers are in a much better position to exploit the advantages of the internet than dot-com start ups, because they have an established patient base, they hold patients' trust and have a mass of patient data that they could exploit. These assets provide a platform for establishing a wide array of new on-line services to physicians and patients.
- Health related information is amongst the most frequently accessed information on the Internet. Therefore, the European Union has set up an initiative called "eHealth" (part of the larger"eEurope"programme), which proposes to establish a set of quality criteria for health websites, clarify legal aspects of e-health and promote best practice in health telematics infrastructure.
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