Health services

Market research in the traditional business setting is a breeze. Purchase some Nielsen or Forrester reports, run some customer focus groups, analyse your competitors’ financial statements, mine some retail data – and you’ve got the general patterns and trends you need to make a solid strategic business decision.

Much of my work in Kenya has focused on understanding the market and the needs related to maternity health and determining how to establish a sustainable model to provide quality health services to low-income women before, during and after labour. But where to begin? We have no market research reports. There are no systems to capture consumer data.

Reading scholarly journals and World Health Organisation white papers will only get me so far (really not very far at all). In order to understand the health marketplace for poor consumers, I must see it with my own eyes, hear it with my own ears and speak directly to as many patients and doctors in low-income neighbourhoods as I possibly can. I call this 3-dimensional market research (3DMR). Read more

I always find it fascinating to compare issues facing health systems in countries in different geographies with drastically different socio-economic characteristics and needs. The problems and potential solutions are often more similar than one would expect…

In the US healthcare reform debate, the issue of incentives for doctors has been a critical focal point. The US health insurance system relies heavily on a fee-for-service model, which tends to result in higher overall costs stemming from increased administrative costs and higher incomes for doctors. Read more