By: Ellen Lesser, Jason Lee, and Sarika Asthana
The future of healthcare is a hot topic these days, especially as costs continue to rise within the complex structure of the US system. Here at Booth, many of us are interested in helping address existing challenges by driving change and innovation in the space through our careers post-graduation. Over Winter Break, 16 members of Booth’s Health Care Group embarked on a trek to San Francisco to meet with a variety of healthcare companies, to get a glimpse of the industry’s future, and to learn more about the potential roles we can play.
Multiple sectors within healthcare were represented by the 14 participating companies on our trek, from the more traditional payor, provider, and biotech organizations, to venture capital and private equity firms, to startups of varying size and emphasis (including two of FierceHealthcare’s Fierce 15 of 2020!). Each company visit provided a view not only into the broad healthcare opportunities and challenges they face, but also into their unique cultures and approaches to addressing patient, member, and consumer needs. Read on for some of the key themes of our trip to the Bay Area.
Diversity of Focus
There are so many different angles to approach in the advancement of US healthcare, from medical devices to pharmaceutical products to care delivery services to coverage and benefit solutions. We toured labs where teams are performing research and conducting preclinical trials, demoed advanced instrumentation for conducting minimally invasive surgeries, and had conversations with CEOs and executives around strategic goals, operational approaches, investment principles, and customer experience.
Impact of Data, Technology & Collaboration
Many of the firms emphasized the industry’s ongoing digital transformation, from declining costs in human genome sequencing to real-world data used in the acceleration of drug development to establishment of clinical equivalence and enhanced access in new digital tools and modalities. Furthermore, the multitude of stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem are increasingly working together to find solutions and address pain points. The takeaway? Even with the use of technology, healthcare still requires high touch and values human bond. Where are there opportunities to utilize technology more effectively and better provide and coordinate care?
Importance of Fit
The varying sizes and cultures of healthcare organizations can impact individual work environment and productivity, just like in any other industry. Being a part of a large healthcare company provides employees with a wide range of resources, from career development to training to administrative tools. For smaller, fast-growing firms, the benefits include the ability to shift focus quickly and experience many different functions and opportunities in a short time period. Either way, we learned about the importance of taking risks, working hard, leveraging your network, and staying true to your personal mission and beliefs.
Special thanks to all of our participating firms and alumni for hosting us, and for so candidly sharing with us their perspectives on the future of the healthcare industry!