Hitch Health: Transport Solution or Platform?
(8 pages of text)
In April 2017, the co-founder and vice-president of Hitch Health in Minneapolis Minnesota was faced with an intriguing but challenging strategy decision. Hitch Health had been created as part of Upstream Health Innovations at Hennepin County Medical Center to improve transportation services for its many vulnerable patients. By using human-centred design, Hitch Health had succeeded in developing a system of ride sharing and sophisticated information technology that met its initial goal of reducing missed appointments. However, the development of Hitch Health had also presented a new opportunity to engage patients in many aspects of their own care. The co-founder realized that she had to make a key strategy decision. Was Hitch Health just a practical solution to Hennepin County Medical Center’s transportation problem? Could it solve transportation problems at similar hospitals across the country? Could it be an idea big enough to serve as a platform with the potential to disrupt health care delivery?
This case can be used in undergraduate or graduate courses on innovation and entrepreneurship or strategy. Regardless of the nature of the course, the case is most suitable near the beginning. As such, the case does not require extensive understanding of the complexities of the health care industry, nor any prior knowledge of the innovation process. After completion of the case, students will be able to do the following:
- Explain the elements of empathic interviews.
- Produce a complete problem definition.
- Understand the use of ideation in a human-centred design project.
- Identify the key issues in prototyping.
- Outline the key tasks in new product testing and review.
- Explain the impact of a platform’s ability to change the strategic emphasis from controlling scarce and tangible assets to orchestration of intangible assets.
- Demonstrate how platforms have the ability to automate administrative complexity.
- Enumerate the advantages that platforms have in respect to collecting, analyzing, and using data to create higher value services and insights for customers.
Health Care Services
United States, Small, 2017
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