The Medical Department Store

The Medical Department Store

By now you know that things in the medical commerce world are rapidly changing.

  1. Patients are now referred to as customers and health professionals, much to their dismay, are now providers. Next they will be called sickcare retailers.
  2. Online medicine is growing much like online commerce.
  3. The retail apocalypse continues and hospitals are consolidating or closing.
  4. Sick care sales and marketing is evolving to engage and educate patient customers and sickcare retailers are learning how to sell to them.
  5. The buying experience and convenience has taken precedence over quality as a differentiator for medical facilities and clinicians. For patient customers, convenience care trumps value based care. That's why there is a doctor-patient values gap.
  6. Price transparency is growing.
  7. Online communities of patients with similar medical problems are ever present.
  8. The digital ecosystem economy is evolving towards creating a whole product solution. Maybe some day you will be able to get your health records from an ATM.
  9. Financial technologies are making it easier and more convenient to pay for sickcare products and services.
  10. Healthcare professionals are being trained and held accountable for patient customer service.
  11. The Consumer Electronics Show and the JP Morgan conference now gets more press coverage than most medical meetings.
  12. Amedzon, Walmart and media companies are the new new sickcare things.

Consequently, don't be surprised when you see a medical department store move into that empty mall down the road from your house. The department store transformed America. Now some of the very forces that fueled its rise have been turned against it. The only way out may be for it to recapture something of its past.-making it an experience for a community.

Medical department stores will offer many different departments:

  1. Wearables and other consumer medical electronics.
  2. Clothing with sensors.
  3. Telemedicine appliances and medical devices and other durable medical equipment.
  4. Patient and care circle education centers.
  5. A service department.
  6. A medical geek squad.
  7. DIY medicine departments with kiosks.
  8. Patient and care navigators to help you connect to social service agencies to address the social determinants of heath outcomes.
  9. Data navigators to help you make sense of all that data you are generating every day
  10. Health, data and insurance IQ literacy resource centers.
  11. Smart home furnishings, appliances and bathroom accessories, including our nextgen smart toilet.
  12. Healthy food delivery services, kitchen appliances and cooking classes.
  13. Discount travel agencies to arrange medical travel.
  14. Primary care centers with an adjacent digital device, digital therapeutics and pharmacy, where you get that app your doctor prescribed downloaded and explained.
  15. Retail dental clinics.
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CBD dispensing robots are coming to select stores in Colorado.

You can even check into our adjoining surgitel to recover from your procedure at our day surgery center.

If you are worried by now about how you are going to compete with Applecare and Walmed, here are some tips on how to practice retail medicine.

Another benefit of all this one stop shopping is the food court (think Harrods) with a healthy food pharmacy and several bars where you can join your friends to avoid social isolation and loneliness. Fill out the form on our app to receive sales promotions and coupons and check out our low, low prices if you missed Black Friday.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship.

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  • Jamie Woodward

    Automation: First it came for your farms. Then it came for your factories and mines. Now it's coming for your stores.

  • Liam Gibson

    Great article

  • Matt Burley

    Not surprising.

  • Nick Rogers

    The rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer even in health care.

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Healthcare Expert

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org. He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at www.bridgehealth.com and www.cliexa.com and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at www.globalminded.org, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

   

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