Hospitals Join the Sharing Economy in Hopes of Boosting Efficiency

A new startup in Boston is helping hospitals save money by pooling resources and sharing expensive, not-often-used equipment.

Here's an interesting piece by Laura Lorenzetti of Fortune about a new Boston startup called Cohealo, which aims to make hospitals more efficient and therefore reduce the cost of healthcare in the United States. Cohealo's strategy can be compared to those of other "sharing economy" companies like Uber and Airbnb. Where those two companies match customers to underused supplies (drivers/cars and apartments), Lorenzetti explains that Cohealo has "created a platform for hospitals to share equipment":

"Hospitals use any given machine about 42% of the time, at most, according to a GE Healthcare study. That adds up to a lot of excess capacity, especially as surgery equipment gets more procedure specific. It also means that it takes longer for the hospital to pay the machine off...

Cohealo’s goal is to push medical equipment usage rates closer to 75% to 80% by pooling hospitals resources. It does this by providing a software platform to hospital systems that catalogs and organizes their equipment inventory, and then allows doctors or nurses to simply tap and order what they need when they need it from any hospital in their network."

Cohealo is disrupting an industry in which the only ways to obtain equipment -- rental or purchase -- are both inefficient. Take a look at Lorenzetti's full article (linked again below) for more about Cohealo's business model and why it's like nothing else the industry has seen before.

Read more at Fortune

Photo credit: Hadrian / Shutterstock

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