What will be the 'Uber of Healthcare'?

By Staff Writer

Jan 29, 2016 04:00 AM EST

At JPMorgan's yearly healthcare conference, the question was posed of what could radically change the healthcare industry. The industry has yet to become disrupted by a service similar to Uber or Airbnb, but what's the actual likelihood of a similar service for healthcare doing well?

To start off, there is a major difference between creating a service for healthcare and creating a service for rides or rooms said Genalyte CEO Cary Gunn with Business Insider. "Something like an Uber can take off and just explode because there wasn't a regulatory agency involved. "

In the healthcare industry there are many regulations and checks that companies must follow in order to give the most effective treatments for patients or create new medication that will be approved. These constant hurdles and rules are placed to protect the public and the companies.

However, a major contender for a game-changing service is a gene-editing technology called Crispr. The technology has the possibility to help patients by cutting out the parts of the DNA that are causing the disease and replace the with healthy DNA.

The technology is still in its developing stages, but there are important questions that scientists need to know before bringing it to a public. At the moment, scientists are unsure of the side effects of changing a gene sequence, which could possibly create a larger problem than the initial one itself.

Others felt that the intersection of technology and big data was going to become a major change in the industry since there needs to be a way for healthcare companies to sequence their patients' genetic information and then determine what kinds of treatments would be appropriate. Another possibility, as MedPageToday suggested, would be software or an app that could properly connect the expertise of a medical professional and make it easily accessible to the public.

TheStreet described a new app called "Pager" that would call a doctor to your home sometime during the day, assess your health, and then any prescriptions given would be deliver to the patient within the hour. Funded by a venture capital company co-founded by Oscar Salazar, the first technology chief officer of Uber Technologies, the app requires patients to pay $200 for the service and is currently only in San Francisco and New York.

Patients could possibly have direct access to medical professionals, their expertise, or just better control over what their healthcare is offering them. Despite all the suggestions and theories, what is clear is that no matter what the next steps for healthcare will be, the patient will ultimately benefit. 

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