Rotman Management

Disrupting the Healthcare System

What are the biggest wicked problems in healthcare right now?

There are several, and from my perspective they are driven by two factors. The first is that there are so many stakeholders involved, which often means that there is no one ‘right’ solution. The second factor is that in today’s resource-constrained world, there is an imperative to do more with less. Both factors manifest themselves in the problems we see in healthcare — from attempts to efficiently deliver care to an aging population, to safely incorporating technology like AI and wearables without compromising quality, to creating coordinated access to medical information along care pathways.

The backdrop to all of this is the overarching challenge of optimizing incentives across the entire system — for patients, providers and vendors. These are big, messy problems that many have tried to tackle. Yet few are successfully driving change.

Which of these problems did your company, Maple, set out to address, and why?

We set out to address a very specific challenge in healthcare: timely access to care. Every day, patients with non-urgent issues are forced to visit the is an emergency room physician, and he saw this problem first-hand every day. When you have an emergent primary care issue that cannot wait the week it takes to get an appointment with your family doctor, that is a problem. We are addressing this by using the latest technology and a distributed network of physicians that enable patients to speak with a doctor in literally two minutes or less — anytime, anywhere.

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