In 2017, spending on all forms of healthcare information technology will total about $100 billion, and about 32% of that total, or $32 billion, could be spent on multiple forms of digital healthcare and e-commerce applications and services, according to investment bank Goldman Sachs.
The digital evolution in healthcare presents multiple risk and reward opportunities for healthcare providers. Creating and sustaining a viable business in digital healthcare, requires organizations to create and execute a detailed strategy that includes proper market research and due diligence. Healthcare is a very regulated market where any company expanding e-commerce and online capabilities needs to have a complete understanding of their customers and online information regulations.
Many online retailers and e-commerce technology vendors fail when attempting to expand their presence into healthcare by trying to go it alone. The need to understand unique data requirements, privacy and security regulations, and customer segmentation strategies makes healthcare different from other e-commerce and web services markets.
The U.S. healthcare system is a $3.2 trillion market that breaks down into many segments, including hospitals and health systems, insurance companies, physician groups, drug makers and pharmacies. To succeed a retailer or vendor needs to know the healthcare customer it is targeting and to deliver products and services that will be unique.
A recent survey of e-commerce vendors by Internet Retailer found 68% of respondents consider getting into the healthcare market a “very important” or “important” priority. The survey, which garnered a detailed response from 29 e-commerce technology product and services companies, also found that 54% of those vendors not in the market plan within the next six months to begin selling their products and services to healthcare organizations, such as hospitals, doctor groups and insurers. This report explores the market opportunities, challenges and rewards in healthcare e-commerce and seeks to inform online retailers and vendors how they can succeed with their own initiatives and strategies.