In a weekly column, alternately written by Lucien Engelen, Mary Fiers, Maarten Steinbuch, Carlo van de Weijer, and Tessie Hartjes, E52 tries to find out what the future will look like. All five contributors – sometimes accompanied by guest bloggers – are working on solving the problems of our time. Everything to make Tomorrow Good. This Sunday, it‘s Lucien Engelen’s turn. Here are all the previously published columns.

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away? That could be the tagline for the newly announced AC Wellness Medical Practice, Apple’s latest step in(to) health(care. “AC Wellness is an independent medical practice dedicated to delivering compassionate, effective healthcare to the Apple employee population”, is what the very skinny website states. The week prior to this announcement, Amazon, Berkshire and JP Morgan (not to my surprise) announced a similar entry into the market of employers with the ambition of serving their (1.1 million) employees with a health(care) and wellness initiative. And the most current move of a tech titan comes from Verily (Alphabet company) with the ‘rumor’ of them partnering with health-insurers “… to lower healthcare costs“.

All of this to me are clear pre-paradigm-shift-signals we have seen coming for long, even though many neglected and ridiculed it when spoken about it. After the partial markets like music, travel, media, and retail, one could wait for these companies to take the challenge to enter the biggest market ever: health(care). One that is being ‘refreshed’ every day with new people being born and others passing away, while everyone at one point in their life will be in need of.

The things all of these companies share is market(ing)power and their knowledge of logistics and user interface. And that is what the healthcare sector is lacking. Due to the interdependencies for ages (literally), there has been no need to look at the model of health(care) delivery. And now, in an era where I become grumpy if something I ordered online doesn’t get delivered the same day before 6 PM, customers who become patients don’t understand why there is this gap of time to wait until seeing the doctor or nurse.

Although it is an older video there still is a lot of truth in the “If air travel worked like health care“.

So, lots of work to do, technology is there, the need to change is there, the future isn’t burden-free, actually from an economic standpoint it’s a burning platform. So we all have a chance to make great improvements whether you’re in healthcare, in technology that could help solve it, in finance to make innovation speed up. I think we’re at “the end of the beginning.”

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