Over the years, we’ve seen so many attempts to define the intersection between the internet and healthcare. Here are just a few:
Definitions are important. They enable us to categorize things to create a better understanding through a shared language.
And that got me thinking about what my efforts over the last 11 years should be called. And, of course, I don’t think Virtual Primary Care fits into any of those terms listed up there. So, what should we call it? The closest is telehealth, but that sounds so Alexander Graham Bell. And the healthcare world needs all the help it can get to sound modern and distance itself from all the clipboards, faxes, and wonky “have a video visit with some random strange doctor!” So, in an effort to create a modern term that better describes Virtual Primary Care, Sherpaa, and the other players in the space, I think this subset of leaders who are, today, laying the foundation for the inevitable much more online future of healthcare should be called:
Why “caretech?” Because “care” implies the process of laypeople working with actual human health professionals to truly solve medical problems. And “tech” implies that the primary emphasis of the experience is digital/virtual instead of physical. There’s precedent here with “fintech,” “biotech,” and “insuretech.” Calling this space “caretech” allows us to differentiate our offering from WebMD, AI chatbots, and the rest. We are a fundamentally different thing.
So, who are the main players in the space?
I’m sure there are tons more. But just trying to make some sense of the world and categorize ourselves so we’re not lumped in to old-fashioned digital health concepts.