How are the big tech players likely to do in healthcare? Here’s one man’s opinion, and the man is one whose opinion counts: Jeff Margolis, former CEO of TriZetto, current CEO of Welltok, and a consistently well-informed thought leader on the intersection of tech and health. His remarks come from a conversation with Oliver Wyman’s Tom Main, published here. An excerpt:
I don’t see Apple and Samsung as driving change in healthcare. They’re more the ubiquitous data capture players that make it approachable and inexpensive enough for everybody else to take advantage of. Their model is to sell electronic devices and to sell things through their connect ecosystem. I think they’ll do fine.
Google, I don’t really see as much of a player. They’ve been around long enough that if they were going to use their domination of their technology to really affect healthcare, we’d already see it.
Watson is different. When you search in Google, you get a list. When you ask Watson a question, you get an answer. If the right partners gather around Watson and invest to really create a learning, cognitive capability that works toward optimizing health, then Watson will play a key role. [Full disclosure: Welltok is partnering with Watson on consumer uses of Watson in health.]
Wal-Mart? When you see a player in that many places and in a big-box model, you’ve just got to believe that whatever gets figured out in that true retail setting, Wal-Mart is going to figure it out. And whatever model does emerge for the retail players that’s sustainable and profitable for them, I don’t think you’re going to see others box Wal-Mart out.