Historically, times of crisis necessitate accelerated adoption of new and innovative ideas and methods. These periods reinforce the value of embracing technological advances, regardless of previous hesitance toward them. The COVID-19 crisis is no different. It has resulted in making 2020 the year of global unpredictability on all fronts. The viral threat has meant that almost every industry has had to pivot to creative ways of continuing their businesses in some form while maintaining physical boundaries. Frost & Sullivan believes that retail health organizations are a key part of creating higher touch, lower cost connections to individuals needing care. These organizations should play a more strategic role in the shift from sickcare to health, and can deploy digital tools to extend their value to providers and patients. In this paper, we will outline the what and why, and define how retail organizations and their provider partners should move forward in this strategic shift. Organizations that seize this growth opportunity, and learn from the recent past, will gain competitive advantage in both the short and long term.
During the pandemic, retail health entities1 have played a valuable role, filling a gap in access to healthcare for patients seeking to avoid visiting high-volume care venues such as emergency rooms or hospitals, which bring with them a higher risk of exposure. Beyond providing medication and medical consultations, retail pharmacies have also become key centers of access for food, healthcare, wellness, hygiene, cleaning products, and other common consumer goods, given closer proximity, in many cases, to consumers than larger retail stores and centers.
Atiya Hasan, Daniel Ruppar, and Greg Caressi in Partnership with Microsoft