Digital Health: Knowing what’s next in the era of gradual, then sudden change


The healthcare industry has historically remained unaffected by the transformative impacts of exponential technologies, given heavy regulation and reliance on expert labor. However, even the most regulated industries are vulnerable to the effects of Big Bang disruption. In health care, Big Bang disruption will happen on a market-by-market basis, versus at a national scale. It will also initially present itself in pockets across parts of the healthcare value chain as new ecosystems form.

Change is already impacting parts of the healthcare value chain in different ways, making it difficult to detect major disruption.



Digital is driving change across industries, from shopping to entertainment to travel. The convergence of “exponential technologies” has increased the pace and scale of industry change to a level greater than ever before experienced. Transformations driven by other exponential technologies, like electric power, automobiles and telephone, took more than 40 years to reshape industries. Even the impact of the Internet took over 10 years to drive change.

Today, these exponential technologies are the platforms enabling innovators to rapidly launch products and services that are Big Bang Disruptions—innovations which are simultaneously better, cheaper and more customized than current offers—and they’re putting major players out of business. Since 2000, 52 percent of companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or ceased to exist. In addition, the life of a Fortune 500 company keeps shortening from 75 years to less than 15 years today.