I’m 33 years old and I feel like a dinosaur. Everywhere I look and everything I see reminds me that technology is evolving and moving faster than I am. When I was young technology was a colour TV, a major breakthrough was the Walkman. Mobile phones started to only really appear in the mid to late 90’s. The Internet started to emerge slightly later.
Today there are more smartphones in the world than toothbrushes (5.1 billion vs 4.2 billion). Internet World Stats cites Australia as one of the leading nations in terms of internet penetration as a proportion of the total population (90% penetration). Industries have been forged on this ‘Tsunami’ of digitalization, like Social Media and Search Engine Companies (Facebook and Google), which are now some of the largest companies in the world. On the other side of the coin are those industries that have been engulfed and failed to adapt, be it from complacency or disbelief that technology, and in particular the shift to online will impact them.
Retailers around the country have been bemoaning the rise of ‘online retailers’. When questioned about the slump in sales Bernie Brookes the CEO of Myers recently sated “online had arrived at a faster rate than anyone in Australia had expected”. In the last week, Fairfax and News Ltd both announce major restructuring of their businesses due to the changing media environment to online fueled by the way consumers now access news and information.
With all this overwhelming evidence of the digital tsunami happening around us, it is hard to refute that any industry is immune to it. Healthcare has long been seen as an industry where change is driven by research and evidence, the evidence that consumers of healthcare, our patients, are now adopting online technology and the convenience they provide at an alarming rate. Healthcare will need to adapt and change, those that are early adopters will be given the longest runway to make sure they have adapted correctly.
We all know that the first step to receiving healthcare is getting an appointment so it is logical to say that this is where the adoption of digital technology in healthcare needs to start. Online appointment booking is not the panacea to the digital tsunami but it is an easy way to get started in engaging this movement. 1stavailable.com.au is at the forefront of the online healthcare appointment booking and whilst we don’t profess to have all the answers we are poised and ready to embrace the change that consumers are asking for. Next time you need an appointment of any sort, ask yourself the question – “if I could have made this appointment online at a time that was convenient to me from one website, would it have been easier?”
Dr Rick Luu, Non-Executive Director and Founder