The way consumers today interact with companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon.com is bringing major change to the healthcare industry, says David Tsay, a transformation executive at New York-Presbyterian.

Healthcare and consumer technology is intersecting, and that’s putting patient care coordination at a crossroads, says David Tsay, associate chief transformation at NewYork-Presbyterian.

Today Google and Facebook account for 80% of all digital interactions with consumers and that’s a game changer for healthcare, Tsay told attendees Thursday in his keynote address at World Congress 2019 Care Coordination & Technology Conference in Atlanta.

“This is a huge focus point,” he said. Certain companies such as Sears with its first mail-order catalog and later Amazon.com in e-commerce changed how industries deal with customers and their expectations.

Healthcare so far ranks low among most industries in terms of annual gains of productivity. “It’s about 1%,” Tsay told attendees.

But the right mix of technology, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, telehealth and voice recognition, can—and will—enable providers to see greater numbers of patients more efficiently. “Scales of 5,000 patients can be thought of scales of 10,000 and 20,000,” he said.

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Healthcare isn’t about technology—it’s about people, Tsay told attendees. “Healthcare is not like retail, because it’s about treating patients and it is complex,” he said.

But healthcare is becoming more like retail in that patient care is moving beyond the hospital and more to where patients live, work—and shop. “80% of patients are within five miles of a CVS or Walgreens,” he told attendees. “Healthcare needs to embrace a new way of thinking.”

At NewYork-Presbyterian, the health system sees an “industrial revolution” taking hold in healthcare using artificial intelligence, digital automation, robotics and telehealth as building blocks.

The health system also is becoming a big user of various forms of technology such as virtual doctor visits to improve patient care.

For example, the number of virtual visits NewYork-Presbyterian physicians expect to conduct this year will be about 250,000, or nearly double from 2018. “This is an example of how we leverage technology,” he said.

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