“…telemedicine can improve through both sustaining innovation (incremental improvement upon what we are already doing for patients) and through disruptive innovation (simpler solutions for patients with simpler needs and/or patients we are not currently serving).”
Telemedicine as a Sustaining Innovation
Most telemedicine in its current form is a sustaining innovation. There has been incremental improvement in telecommunication technologies from the traditional phone to current videoconferencing software integrated with electronic medical records, development of secure platforms for short messaging service (SMS) between patients and providers, and introduction of connected devices that can monitor and transmit patients’ health data to their providers.
Beyond improving the way care is already delivered, telemedicine may also serve as a vehicle for disruption in overlooked health care markets, particularly low-end or new-market segments. Many customers are currently overserved by traditional care delivery in the form of regular visits (in-person or virtual) with a physician, which are structured to provide more than what they need and less of what they want.