From Amazon and Google to Walmart and CVS, tech and retail giants are transforming the healthcare industry and fueling new needs for innovation.  

Here, 10 chief innovation and digital officers from hospitals and health systems across the U.S. share their predictions on what companies will become the biggest tech and retail disruptors to healthcare.

Question: Which retail or tech giant will be the biggest disrupter to healthcare? 

Editor’s note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Daniel Durand, MD, chief innovation officer at LifeBridge Health (Baltimore): I think there’s a difference between what the intention of the different groups is versus what they seem to be achieving in real time, but I would have to put my money on Amazon. 

Omer Awan, chief data and digital officer at Atrium Health (Charlotte, N.C.): Amazon and Walmart. However, Best Buy and Comcast can disrupt in a major way as well.

Lisa Prasad, vice president and chief innovation officer at Henry Ford Health System (Detroit): Apple.

Aaron Martin, executive vice president and chief digital and innovation officer at Providence (Renton, Wash.): I think it’s going to be a tie but in very different markets. In the millennial/commercial market, it will probably be Amazon. And in the Medicare market, it will probably be Walmart. 

Peter Fleischut, MD, senior vice president and chief transformation officer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (New York City): I think Microsoft is a pretty impressive technology giant, and the work it takes on is pretty impressive. I think the thing about technology giants is that they transcend almost any industry, so while they might not technically be involved in just healthcare, I think what they’ve done is pretty impressive. 

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Muthu Krishnan, PhD, chief digital transformation officer at IKS Health (Burr Ridge, Ill.): Walmart in the retail clinic segment and Amazon for online prescription fulfillment.

Nick Patel, MD, chief digital officer of Prisma Health (Columbia, S.C.): Amazon.

Omkar Kulkarni, chief innovation officer of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: There won’t be just one. The healthcare industry is rapidly innovating, and nontraditional entrants from retail and tech are contributing to the accelerated and often disruptive innovation. I believe COVID-19 has been and will be a further catalyst to an already rapidly changing industry.

Tom Andriola, vice chancellor of IT and data at UC Irvine (Calif.): So many to name, but here’s a few: Optum, Walmart, CVS and Amazon.

John Brownstein, PhD, chief innovation officer of Boston Children’s Hospital: Google.

More articles on digital transformation:
11 recent big tech partnerships in healthcare 
Allegheny Health to convert former hospital campus into tech innovation hub: 5 details 
New Orleans Bioinnovation Center gets $1.5M for innovation jobs incubator


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