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article imageWhat changes can an Amazon-backed healthcare company make? Special

By Tim Sandle     Feb 22, 2018 in Business
Amazon made waves when it announced that it was planning to disrupt American healthcare the same way it’s disrupted so many other industries. But what changes can an Amazon-backed healthcare company actually make?
Swedish healthcare startup KRY has begun disrupting healthcare along the lines envisaged by Amazon, albeit on a smaller scale. Founded in 2015, KRY has been using mobile apps and cloud computing to challenge Swedish healthcare. KRY lets its users receive physicals and check-ups through video calls with doctors around the country.
Patients receive diagnoses — and even prescriptions — without leaving their homes. The patient history and insurance is held the cloud, avoiding the need for paper records. Patric Palm, founder of Swedish startups Hansoft and Favro, spoke with Digital Journal about the extent that Swedish healthcare has been disrupted by KRY.
Digital Journal: What's the state of global healthcare?
Patric Palm: Currently, global healthcare is very unevenly distributed. It’s not just about asking ourselves whether we have the right medicine and procedures, it’s also about asking whether people have access to these resources. We are making a lot of progress, but in different parts of the world we have massive amounts of inefficiencies in healthcare, from the organization of it to financing, accessibility, and so on.
DJ: What is the situation like in Sweden?
Palm: In Sweden, it is basically a single-payer system. But the big challenge in Sweden is accessibility. There can be a long wait for healthcare and inefficiencies managing the flow of patients. This has created an opportunity for some new companies to digitize and provide healthcare through mobile apps — this is has proven to be a successful road forward.
DJ: How disruptive has the Swedish startup KRY?
Palm: KRY provides healthcare with fast accessibility. For example, you can get in contact with a doctor online within five minutes. It is companies like KRY that are disrupting the healthcare market. In fact, government healthcare programs are following suit, which is great because it’s making everything more efficient.
DJ: With Amazon's move into healthcare, how will this shake things up?
Palm: Amazon has proven itself to be very good at disrupting whatever industry it gets itself into. There is a lot of bureaucratic organizations that are ripe for disruption and being a company with a track record for disruption, Amazon could be very successful here.
DJ: What other technologies are set to disrupt businesses?
Palm: There’s a lot of interesting stuff happening in material sciences, nanotechnology and robotics, which will have a huge impact on healthcare. Looking at the short term, we will see many advancements in telemedicine, the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients, that will increase accessibility to healthcare. Many pharma companies are struggling with basic innovation processes, creating room for disruption in the space.
To better understand this idea, we could compare the space industry to the development of new drugs. SpaceX has proven that it’s possible to do really advanced tasks where people didn’t see alternatives to the large bureaucratic organizations that dominated. You’ll find that both of these more traditional markets have plenty room for disruption.
More about Sweden, Healthcare, Hospital, Insurance, insurtech
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