In Healthcare and Music: It’s All About the Consumer

An intriguing and lively panel of healthcare and music disrupters gathered in mid-April to discuss parallels between two of Nashville’s top industries and how each has changed their mindsets and business models by embracing technology to meet consumer demands. This event, The League, is an invitation-only leadership-networking group for young professionals in the healthcare industry.

Panelists included moderator Thad Beaty, musician, storyteller and music industry insider,  Josh Collum, co-founder and partner, Sorted Noise, John Milano, director of solution engineering, Bridge Connector, Mark Montgomery, music and tech entrepreneur, and Melissa Spillman, founder, FREETOWN Music Group

The Challenges

Beaty started off the thought-provoking discussion by commenting on how music, like healthcare, must have a true focus on the consumer. And how music, in a very different way than in the healthcare industry, can help a person heal. “It’s really about community care. People will comment that your song helped them get through a divorce or helped with their depression,” he noted. “Caring for the community is at the core of what we do in the music industry.”

Montgomery echoed Beaty’s thoughts by adding, “Music is the ear to the heart, and it’s the same with healthcare. If a doctor hooks you, so to speak, is a good doctor and really listens to your concerns, you as a healthcare consumer are much more likely to go to that doctor again. This doctor has essentially created an important bridge between you and the entire healthcare system.”

While everyone agreed that the music industry has made momentous changes from a technology standpoint in the way consumers listen to music today, healthcare still has a long way to go. “Blockchain has been the big disrupter in healthcare by decentralizing data. But healthcare is holding back the reigns. There continues to be a lot of resistance and we’re still trying to figure it all out,” said Milano. He added that patient engagement is really lacking and is a significant barrier as consumers are still not involved in their care.

Spillman agreed noting, “The consumer is lost in the healthcare industry. In comparison, the music industry spent many years in denial and didn’t offer consumers the solution they were asking for.” But then slowly but surely along came technology-driven Napster and most recently Spotify, allowing consumers to get exactly what they wanted – more music faster and personalized specifically for them, with the ability to experience it in a completely different way than ever before.

In comparison, consumers are forcing healthcare disruption in the way they want and need to experience their care – faster, quicker and much more personalized.

The Opportunity

The consensus was that the healthcare industry needs to increase focus on the consumer, and the opportunities will present themselves to those organizations willing to make these significant, yet necessary, changes. An excellent analogy was given by Montgomery noting, “Like in healthcare, the music industry had some companies that didn’t want to change. It was like the Titanic – some companies couldn’t turn around and they sank.”

Collum included his take on this by adding, “It’s really all about have agility, whether in the music business or the healthcare industry. We’re dealing with music, whereas healthcare can sometimes be a matter of life and death. That’s why it’s so important for the healthcare industry to keep moving forward.”

While the panelists all agreed that healthcare has a long way to go in becoming consumer-focused, Beaty said it best by summarizing, “Some healthcare companies won’t change, but there will be enough innovators to ultimately give healthcare consumers what they want and deserve. Be a leader even though you’re not necessarily the leader.”

Healthcare and music. Two of Nashville’s top industries that, while very different in why consumers seek them out, are very much alike when it comes to having to embrace change and technology to meet consumer demands.

If you’re interested in participating in our next League event, please contact us to be added to the distribution list.

About the League
The League is an invitation only leadership-networking group for young professionals in the healthcare industry. We debate issues, promote each other and foster real collaboration among various sub-segments within the healthcare industry.

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