The experience of transactional diagnosis
When diagnosis becomes routine, hospitals will be defined by the thing that's scarce
For most of history, medical diagnosis came through a series of chaotic steps. A string of studies, samples, and images coupled with a doctor’s judgment offering a best-guess answer. Or, in many cases, just a guess.
But ultimately, diagnosis will be reduced to simple transactions. Clean point-of-care testing based on molecular and marker diagnosis. These tests will be optimized to deliver a high value, competitive product. Every health system will use the product that gets the answer with the least cost. Because technology ultimately does only one thing — it drives us tirelessly toward efficiency. And healthcare tech is no exception.
These products will be the commodities that define the nuts and bolts of clinical diagnosis. Since the technology will be similar across the market, the wildcard becomes how the transaction is mediated. What’s it like as a patient to show up, get tested and then deal with what the test reveals?
At that point, the defining opportunity for health systems will be with what’s scarce — connection and experience shaped by presence, empathy, and trust. These are unique offerings that are hard to measure and more difficult to operationalize. The experience of the transaction will determine how patients perceive and contextualize their diagnosis.
So with the tools ultimately being equal, how we shape what a patient sees and feels will define health systems going forward.
Image generated by OpenAI’s DALL-E