Today, a colonoscopy can cost anywhere between $500 and $4000 within a single zipcode; and even though telepresence is extraordinarily fast, cheap and widespread, it is still difficult to get immediate access to a physician.
Both are unacceptable and both problems, thankfully, are about to be resolved.
Castlight Health recently received $100 million in funding to develop a system that lets self-insured employers and their employees comparison shop for medical procedures. Over time, the system will reduce the huge discrepancies between procedure costs. (Think of the company as a Travelocity for medicine.)
The second issue is being addressed by Ringadoc, a small start-up which is developing a telepresence system that allows users for a flat fee of $40 to instantly speak with a real doctor any time of the day. The company’s vision is to become “the frontline of primary care.”
Of course, these aren’t the only two companies competing in this lucrative space and that’s a good thing because today’s healthcare insurance and delivery systems desperately need to be upgraded for the 21st century.
Interested in other thoughts about the future of health care by leading healthcare futurist and forecaster Jack Uldrich? Check out these recent posts: