Scott a good and dear friend made an off the cuff comment that was like a song that says it all.
We were speaking about online health sites and I mentioned WebMD. Without skipping a beat Scott said WebMD is the Best Buy of online healthcare information. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been hocking for a year or more that it’s not WebMD but MyMD. That is where real healthcare learning should take place, at the intersection of patient and physician, the smallest discreet healthcare environment of learning.
Best Buys positions itself as the all knowing customer centric resource for technology. And they can charge more because they are all knowing. Best Buy doesn’t really get that their customers were bright, tech savy, and can smell higher priced products. Best Buy is the place to go to test drive products and buy elsewhere. How tech savy are you when you have a huge inventory of CDs and DVDs. When was the last time you bought a CD? The Best Buy Logo is 20+ years old. Best Buy is fading before our eyes. It is a relic of a different time. Even buying Napster was two years to late. The tech consumer is learning, changing, and adapting as fast as an upload to Dropbox or Sugarsync or iCloud. And this knowledge is being used daily.
Are healthcare consumers moving as fast with their knowledge uptake as the technorati? Yes and no. Consumers/patients are doing more research online and using social media to improve their healthcare knowledge. That fact is clear. The HCP may be part of the problem but, that will change because there is a critical mass of smart health savvy consumers happening. As consumers/patients improve their knowledge (remember a medical degree and residency doesn’t happen in a year or two) they will begin to see through WebMD. WebMD will become a resource like Wikipedia but not that source where they uptake knowledge, reflect on it and apply it. WebMD will become a minor visit to underpin learning. And let us not forget the consumer sees that WebMD exists for the single purpose of mass marketing readership on placed press releases and articles to gather ad click throughs.
As Best Buy goes so will WebMD. Consumers/patients want to be part of a care team, a learning team. They do not want to interact with a thing controlling the distribution of learning. They want share in discovery and change. But the HCP needs to begin to take charge of learning. They are trusted, respected, and have the knowledge.