Platform wars for the quantified self

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market sectors and drivers
  3. Market structure and value chain
  4. Outlook and key takeaways
  5. About Jody Ranck

1. Summary

The summer of 2014 was remarkable in the digital health and quantified self space with the number of major platform offerings that have come from the likes of Google, Samsung, Apple, Salesforce, and WebMD. This marks a turning point for the race to create integrative platforms for handling the growing volume of health data collected by consumers and health systems. These offerings will affect both the healthcare and broader unregulated fitness markets.

Strategists at device makers, health plans, and data analytics vendors must develop their ability to build and exploit partnerships as the key to success, via a “disruptive cooperation” paradigm for innovation. They’ll need to understand the use cases of platforms in the health system, how feedback loops can create data hooks and markets, and how the next generation of data services can generate more sustainable use of devices. Success in this space, despite the persistent hype about new devices, depends on the jobs that platforms must perform, including:

  • Making it easier to integrate data from an expanding ecosystem of devices where health IT interoperability has failed in the past
  • Building useful data services that can help consumers and systems lower costs, improve the quality of care and improve access to healthcare through connectivity
  • Enabling mobile access to patients and real-time data monitoring that can improve population health management and data analytics while maintaining privacy and security
  • Improving the experience of healthcare or self-tracking by making engaging data analytics products and services in both fitness and healthcare

These demands from both major markets mean that the platforms will serve as an anchor for building complex ecosystems where the trick will be to align health data value chains and value capture across the spectrum of suppliers.

Thumbnail image courtesy: iStock/Thinkstock

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