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Science, Technology
& Innovation

Issue 153: Retail Healthcare on the Rise

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With the growing popularity of retail healthcare, seeing a doctor might soon be just as convenient as getting your groceries. Prominent retailer chains in the U.S. have begun offering primary healthcare services, including virtual consultations, personal health devices, and mobile clinics. These are usually offered in collaboration with both private  healthcare corporations and health-tech companies, offering a highly integrated healthcare system for patient care from the comfort of their homes.

 

Besides improving the accessibility of healthcare, particularly for rural communities, one of the key benefits of retail healthcare is in supporting outpatient services of existing public healthcare systems. For instance, maternal care could require far fewer doctor’s visits, and mobile health devices would allow real-time data to be shared across health  platforms. Not only would this improve patient care, it would also vastly increase the amount of data available for predictive analytics in health technologies, marking a big step forward in preventative healthcare.

 

Yet, the promise of retail healthcare also raises some significant concerns. Rather than improving the services offered by traditional healthcare providers, retail healthcare may wind up competing with them for the same limited resources, thereby exacerbating the strain to meet patient demands. Even patients have mixed reviews: a survey found that 73% of them received services in person at a clinic, compared to just 19% over telemedicine. As such, the tempting conveniences offered by retail healthcare may not actually align with the personal connection that patients expect in their healthcare.

While these concerns do not detract from the potential benefits of retail healthcare, they are certainly important considerations to bear in mind for retailers looking to venture into this. Offering healthcare services must first and foremost be a patient-driven endeavour instead of a profit-driven one, and perhaps only then will retail healthcare be a truly convenient option for us all.

About

Leaders and changemakers of today face unique and complex challenges. The HEAD Foundation Digest features insights and opinions from those in the know addressing a wide range of pertinent issues that factor in a society’s development. 

Informed opinions can inspire healthy discussions and open up our imagination to new possibilities. Interested in contributing? Write to us at info@headfoundation

Stay updated on our latest announcements on events and publications

About

Leaders and changemakers of today face unique and complex challenges. The HEAD Foundation Digest features insights and opinions from those in the know addressing a wide range of pertinent issues that factor in a society’s development. 

Informed opinions can inspire healthy discussions and open up our imagination to new possibilities. Interested in contributing? Write to us at info@headfoundation

Stay updated on our latest announcements on events and publications

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Stay updated on all the latest news and events

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