Health-Technology Assessment:Why Uber won’t own its autonomous cars

Uber clearly sees itself evolving as a network organiser, who can pull in fleets — presumably on short-term or zero-hour style contracts — as and when demand from its customer base calls for it. This in many ways is no different to what it already does with its human-driver-based fleet. As the network operator, it would remain the rate setter, the cash collector and the customer interface. The onus on Uber in an autonomous framework would simply be on vetting software developers instead of drivers.

Why Uber won’t own its autonomous cars | FT Alphaville

It is interesting to draw parallels in the healthcare industry too. Would a hospital chain invest in IoT, for example, to own the “end-to-end” infrastructure and create a moat around services? It is a compelling proposition and should be a case study. Conventional wisdom has been moulded to suit the idea of “core-competency”. However, hospitals, in the strictest sense of the term, operate as “market-places” where the “providers” use the asymmetric knowledge to their advantage. The act of restoring health is purely a business activity versus the earlier idea of “charity” seems to be out of the way.

Therefore, the emphasis on “standardisation” (via guidelines) and ideas that have started taking root that AI would “eat away the doctors”. It would have been plausible had it not been for the extremely complex tangled moral and legal frameworks. A bad recommendation for a product listed on Amazon won’t be legally liable versus the AI recommendation of a “treatment course”.

I feel that hospitals, especially the smaller ones, should work towards becoming “smart” by investing in technology stacks and Internet of Things (IoT) devices and associated software. It is relatively trivial and inexpensive proposition to design both hardware and software and then use it as a hedge to drive itself up in the value proposition.

“On-demand” healthcare is ripe for disruption. Assuming an Uber like service for emergency care, investors would realize that they can bring down the cost of delivery by owning the complete “end-to-end experience”. Yes, it would lead to high prices for the end user, but we are now conditioned to pay for convenience, isn’t it?