While the potential that healthcare and tech have together shouldn’t be news to anybody, the idea has recently been trumpeted with enthusiasm by the leaders of such tech giants at Apple and Google.  Earlier this week, they expressed enthusiasm about the idea during a CNBC panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, with the head of SAP echoing the belief that there’s immense potential for technology-enabled healthcare solutions.  

Discussing the limitations of the preexisting and mostly analogue healthcare infrastructure, SAP CEO Bill McDermott discussed the potential to enhance the experience of patients.  McDermott believes that the biggest potential gamechanger in the healthcare industry is to provide personalized, precision medicine that allows exact solutions to be pinpointed for each patient.  Sort of like everybody’s own “House”.  Even though McDermott admits that his enterprise software company isn’t set to make money in this field for at least several years, he does believe that it has the “limitless” potential to transform the lives of both people who use and are involved with healthcare.

Fellow panelist Jonathan Adiri, the founder and CEO of healthcare technology startup healthy.io, which pioneered turning a smartphone into a clinical grade scanner, discussed the longer-term potential of these two industries converging.  He claimed that healthcare in the US alone is a nearly $3 trillion opportunity, and a company that can harvest even a small portion of that has an enormous potential for growth.  Yet it isn’t going to happen overnight; executive chairman of Alphabet (parent company of Google) Eric Schmidt expressed doubt that healthcare would spawn the next $100 billion corporation.  Nonetheless, that’s not to trivialize the importance of this industry; panelist and Centene CEO Michael Neidorff emphasized that using any and all available technology for all patients was essential.

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