If you think of that, the risks in healthcare get much more magnified and amplified compared to the risks that we’ve seen in less sensitive industries like social media and health and e-commerce.
Could public platforms be part of the solution?
I absolutely believe that in healthcare in particular, public platforms are very important. In healthcare, today data is fragmented across many different legacy institutions, much like in banking. If you look at what happened in India with the rise of the India stack, a common public infrastructure was created for different stakeholders across the financial services sector to work together.
A similar approach would work in healthcare, where legacy institutions need to work in coordination with new startups coming up, and large public digital infrastructures provide the common mechanism for enabling and achieving that coordination. So I believe that even if it hasn’t happened in certain other sectors, in healthcare I would absolutely advocate the creation of public digital infrastructures.
What can be achieved through statutory regulation?
The potential disadvantages of the platform economy can be to some extent averted through statutory regulation. Because today the platform economy is operating in the wild west. There are no regulations in terms of what can be done with the data that’s being harvested. So regulation does have an important role when we start seeing too much concentration happening in a certain industry or too much power being taken away from individuals.
But at the same time, it’s important to ensure that regulation does not stifle innovation, that we create counterbalancing value for innovation in the form of public infrastructures, in the form of standards through which companies can better coordinate with each other. So it’s important that we don’t take a pro-regulation only hat approach to this. We counterbalance it with the right capabilities for innovation.
Should national health systems compete with the private sector?
National health systems competing with private sector players would prove counterproductive for the healthcare ecosystem. To solve problems in the healthcare ecosystem systemically, you need national health systems to create the right public goods around patient data, but also need to incentivize private players to create the right diagnostic capabilities while using that data.
Sangeet Paul Choudary is author, advisor, and Founder of Platformation Labs and he is a prominent advocate of individual rights in the platform economy. His best-seller “Platform Revolution” is a Forbes “must-read”, his work on platform economy is ranked among the top 10 strategy articles published in the Harvard Business Review. He is ranked a top business thinker by Thinkers50 Radar (2016) and Thinkers50 India (2015). For his contributions to the field of platform economics, Choudary was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2017.