Technology is a great thing. It simplifies our lives and gives us the ability to do things we could not have done otherwise. Remember when people carried personal CD players around? They could play an entire CD and were relatively handheld. But then… the IPod came and we could play thousands of songs hundreds of different CDs. Have you ever wondered where these things come from? How does this evolution happen?
Really, it is simple. These ideas come from paying attention and watching people closely. This is one of my favorite parts of product management. As a product manager, it is my job to constantly pay attention to everything. For example, I watch what is happening in the market, what competition is doing, and how end-users use my product. From that, ideas are generated. For example, I may see a person doing a particular task over and over and I’d ask myself – ‘can’t we make that easier for them?’ or ‘how can we do that better?’ Many times, the changes or development are not massive, sometimes a little goes a long way at making the customer happy.
Other times, a new development is a disruptive technology (translation = disrupting the status quo). For Apple, someone saw people stuck with just one CD at a time and said ‘can’t I make that better? What if you could have thousands of songs from many CDs all in one place.’ As we see now, that person hit a home run for Apple.
These improvements can take many forms. The change can be related to a new business model, a new marketing or positioning strategy, a new look, improved technology, or a combination of many things. The most important thing is to make sure that the customers want the change. The customers are a company’s most valuable asset.
Now, perhaps, you are thinking “this isn’t about healthcare, this is about technology. What is she doing?” Well technology is HUGE in healthcare and it is only going to get bigger. Think about the insurance website you log in to when you check if a doctor is in network… technology. Think about robotic surgery … technology. Think about EMR and medical billing software…technology. Electronic claims submission…technology. And the list goes on and on.
In this evolving world of healthcare, you had better be (or become) tech savvy. With that, let’s start talking about technology.