Take off of work, go to your doctor’s office, wait an hour for the doctor to see you, doctor writes you a prescription, take your prescription to the pharmacy, wait for the pharmacist to fill the prescription, take the prescription home and take it as need. In that order.
Traditionally, going to the doctor’s office was an all day, or at least half of day, process. However, services similarly to HeyDoctor, are changing the distribution strategy for both doctors and pharmacies. The company makes getting simple medical treatment affordable, fast, and convenient, thus bringing treatment directly to the patient and eliminating distribution channels such as traveling or the nice lady with the mustache at the front desk. Essentially, HeyDoctor is making a direct channel from doctor to patient. Users have the ability to “see” a provider using synchronous and asynchronous technologies from the comfort of their home for issues such as, but not limited to, birth control prescriptions and refills, acne treatment and prevention, HIV testing, and cold sore prescription treatment and refills. If a physician treats a patient with a prescription, the physician can then send the prescription to a brick and mortar pharmacy or a pharmacy that offers delivery service.
According to Dolan (2014), “the economic consequences of a company’s choice of place-its distribution channels or partners- can be quite significant (pg 21). Not only can the economic consequences be significant for the company itself, but also its industry. “According to the American Hospital Association, nongovernmental not-for-profit hospitals account for the largest number of facilities at 2,845.” (Cheney, 2017). Nonetheless, HeyDoctor and similar telecommunication healthcare platforms are for profit companies. How profitable? I’m not really sure and could not find any sufficient answers in my research endeavors. The site claims that insurance is not necessary, and prices range from about $5-$65. So not only is HeyDoctor disrupting the traditional and brick and mortar doctor’s office, the are also changing the insurance and the entire healthcare system itself. Furthermore this way of “distributing” healthcare can have serious economic consequences for all parties involved.
Distribution channels have changed significantly over the past few years in many industries. I wonder what industries are more susceptible to place innovations now. Maybe the automobile industry. In the future the lousy care salesman could be cut out of the equation and consumers could just go straight to the manufacturers for the latest and greatest. We will just have to wait and see or make the changes ourselves. After all, ten years ago who would have thought you could get “visit” a doctor and get your prescription filled at the click of a button. Certainly not me! The more that consumers are obsessed with instant gratification, the more businesses have to figure out ways for consumers to get their goods right away. For instance, HeyDoctor could implement a feature similar to Alexa so patients could simply say, “HeyDoctor, deliver my birth control please”.
Cheney, C. (2017, Jun 20). Top 5 Differences Between NFPS and For-profit Hospitals. Retrieved from https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/finance/top-5-differences-between-nfps-and-profit-hospitals
Dolan, R. (2014). Framework for Marketing Strategy Formation. Retrieved from https://hbsp.harvard.edu/download?url=%2Fcourses%2F561901%2Fitems%2F8153-PDF- ENG%2Fcontent&metadata=e30%3D
HeyDoctor. Retrieved from https://www.heydoctor.co