Intelligence

What healthcare can learn from fintech

Reporter: Vested staff

This week’s Vested Suggested features stories that the team at Vested is reading and thinking about to begin the week.

Parallels: The healthcare industry, a $3.2 trillion market, isn’t among the first that come to mind in conversations about emerging technology, but perhaps it should be.

Amazon is getting most of the attention in this area this week after saying it will sell software that mines patient medical records, as reported by Melanie Evans and Laura Stevens at The Wall Street Journal. That’s a big deal. But Google and Apple also have ambitious plans to bring modern technology into the healthcare industry, which is notorious for depending on manual processes and patchwork systems that can’t communicate with each other.

There are parallels between the financial sector and the healthcare sector when it comes to technology. “Both banking and healthcare are built upon the idea that consumers will choose a service provider and develop a loyalty to that brand and its network of offerings,” wrote Jennifer Bresnick earlier this year, arguing that healthcare should look to finance for learnings on implementing emerging technology.

And don’t sleep on the fact that, in certain cases, fintech and healthcare technology are one in the same. Amazon’s medical record engine, for instance, is a bid to cut costs and create new efficiencies for doctors and hospitals. While, yes, this could plausibly lead to better care and lower prices for healthcare consumers, it is at its core a business solution meant to save users money. That’s a fintech solution, even if those users just happen to be healthcare providers.

Let’s check in on US-China trade relations: “Usually, when two leaders meet for substantial talks, officials from both sides will spend weeks ahead of time planning the discussion and release a joint press statement with agreed-upon language after it is over. … In this case, the White House and Beijing put out separate, contradictory statements.”

Key learnings: Focus groups that led Fifth Third Bancorp to partner with CommonBond to offer student loan refinancing confirmed that student loan debt is a major source of existential dread for Americans aged 24 to 38 years. “We would hear people say they were depressed and didn’t see a path forward. It was a social burden to them in the dating scene,” said a source.

Let’s not make this the new rule: Some Wall Street executives are going to needless lengths to avoid the appearance of impropriety roughly a year into the Me Too movement, reported Gillian Tan and Katia Porzecanski in a deeply sourced piece for Bloomberg. Some men believe they are straight-up unable to interact with female colleagues on an individual basis without creating risk, according to their reporting.

Nuanced opinions: There are signals that the best days of the U.S. bull market are behind it, and there are also reasons to believe that they are not. It depends on a lot of things.

Hot take: The purpose of physical retail facilities is no longer to sell things, some retail consultants and designers are apparently arguing. Instead, it’s about creating brand loyalty and moments that play well on Instagram.

“In five years, we’re gonna see malls take a turn,” said a source, “one where every single store is a unique concept store or a completely different environment.”