Disruption is a common theme in business, including in health care. Disruptions displace incumbents and there are often losers. In this article, the focus is on the hearing aid industry, one where small electronic devices are typically priced in the thousands of dollars, despite their technology being less sophisticated and complex than the typical smart phone that does so much more, for so much less. Often such disparate prices are the result of a silo created by regulation – such that devices that amplify sound in a manner like hearing aids are euphemistically referenced as sound amplifiers for activities like bird watching. In the end, common sense and the desire of the market prevails, whether it is about online hearing aids or eyeglasses at a fraction of the price via current distribution channels, Uber vs. taxis, retail health clinics vs. hospital ERs, or online stores displacing main street.
Read the full New York Times article here.