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Disrupting the Market: Is Consumerism Transforming Health Care?

Economist Impact webinar

A webinar presented by Economist Impact, part of the Economist Group.

The health care ecosystem and economy are evolving at speed as patients become increasingly engaged in managing their health. A new wave of investment capital has flooded the sector, leading to innovation and new products that plug gaps and target patients directly. In a process accelerated by digitisation and changes in consumer behaviour, firms that meet people where they are—which is increasingly online—are shaking up incumbents. From telehealth and digital diagnostics to wearable devices and e-pharmacies, emerging trends make it imperative for all firms to give consumers greater control over how they access care.

Turbocharged by Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things” mantra, new players have entered the market with differing strategies, consumer bases and positions in the value chain. The consumer-centricity of a mushrooming array of products and services is clear; less so are their quality, safety and clinical value. As regulators scrutinise the market, there is a need for an evidence-based approach, grounded in science, to measure the impact of innovation. Stakeholders in this crowded space also need to become part of existing frameworks for sharing health information and protecting data so they can document and realise value not just for themselves but for those who consume their products and services.

Key Questions:

  • How is consumer-centricity changing the health-care landscape and what do these changes mean for different stakeholders?
  • What are the implications of consumer-driven health care for traditional providers? Is it possible to align the goals and incentives of different players in the health-care ecosystem?
  • Do health apps need to be evidence-based? How can the real disrupters and evidence-based consumer health applications be distinguished from the overhyped duds?
  • How can regulators ensure that consumer-facing health products and services are safe and effective?
  • Where are the biggest growth opportunities in health care and what will the sector look like in the future?


Kathleen Aller
Head of market strategy, health-care

Samir Qamar
Co-founder and chief medical officer
MedWand Solutions

John Moore
Medical director

Tad Funahashi
Chief innovation officer
Kaiser Permanente

Moderator: Ore Ogunbiyi
Health-care and consumer products correspondent, The Economist

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