TECHNOLOGY, HEALTHCARE, UBER and APPS: “While building a platform that crosses states might be difficult, a more regional app would be easier to pull off …”

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Physician hiring app uses “Uber method” to disrupt billion dollar Locums industry

By Iltifat Husain, MD | November 23, 2015

Overall I’ve been pretty skeptical of the hype surrounding healthcare startups that try to emulate Uber. The skepticism isn’t necessarily at the business model, it’s the hype in the valuation and how the startups will “change” medicine that gives me pause.

No — having a physician do house visits or using an Uber style pool isn’t going to “fundamentally” change medicine. This is the same as concierge medicine but with window dressing. It’s a business model that will work because there are enough affluent people who won’t want to wait in a physician’s office and want a doctor at their command.

Due to the silicon valley bubble, I’m sure investors who have no idea how healthcare really works will pour millions upon millions into round after round of funding — and come up with companies that do cool things and eventually make a profit — but it won’t be anywhere close to the hundreds of millions or billions they will be hoping to make.

I think I’m starting to see more legitimate healthcare innovation happening away from silicon valley because of how out of touch so many there seem to be. I wasn’t surprised that the first app that connected universal wearables to a large hospital system was located on the East Coat.

All this doesn’t mean applying certain “Uber” techniques to healthcare won’t work at all. That’s why a recent app just launched out of Australia that is aimed to disrupt the Locums industry is a great example of legitimate innovation.



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