Steve Case’s Revolution Health hasn’t quite lived up to the promise trumpeted in early days. Recent rounds of layoffs, changes in overall strategy, and the hiring of an investment bank to explore sales lead one to think that Revolution is closer to circling the drain that it is carrying the banner of a new approach to health care focused on the consumer.
However, one recent rumor about a merger between Glam and Revolution Health reminds us of the direction that health publishing (and potentially health care delivery) are likely to go if we believe that consumer decision-making is important.
As drug company ad budgets have buoyed Madison Avenue and increasingly entered consumer lexicons, women are important health care decision makers and natural combinations between women’s interests and health decision-making could start to chip away at the insurance- and pharma/device- dominated M&A plays, to add further variety to the technology players already rattling sabers at the gates.
The combination of consumer (women’s) focus and technology should bring enhanced openness, interoperability, and interesting new combinations to the traditionally stodgy and actuarial/engineering/statistics driven approaches that currently dominate the space. Outside of Glam, some non-traditional interests:
Health, with its hold on nearly 20 percent of the U.S. economy, is increasingly being explored by nontraditional interests. Seeing those players start to exert their interests in the field will make for some interesting dance partners and joint ventures in the time to come.
Vijay Goel is a doctor and former McKinsey & Co. consultant based in Los Angeles. He blogs regularly at Consumer-focused Healthcare.