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Data Analytics Is Changing The Future Of Healthcare — Here's How That's Creating MBA Careers

Executives must keep pace with wearables, sensors, and data analytics

By  Seb Murray

Tue Apr 12 2016

The UK’s Warwick Business School has launched a new executive MBA focused on healthcare that will explore how innovations such as big data are reshaping the industry.

As digital surges through healthcare, the world’s top business schools are catering to executives who will need to develop specialist skills to keep pace with tech changes such as wearables, sensors, and data analytics.

John Colley, associate dean for Warwick’s MBA, says: “There is a great deal of innovation happening in the healthcare sector, with new technologies and governments around the world looking for more efficient methods of delivering a health service.”

The MBA will examine the future of healthcare and how big data analytics and technology companies will play an increasingly important role. Modules include units on leadership, innovation and creativity, digital innovation, and managing service delivery in healthcare.

These courses are just a few examples of how global healthcare management programs are evolving to fit into the “digital health” era. McKinsey & Company said last year that healthcare had greater potential than any other industry for value creation from “connected technology” by 2018.

“The digital revolution is poised to have a major impact on healthcare,” says Kim MacPherson, co-director of the Center for Health Technology at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

The digital health boom has given rise to a new set of MBA job opportunities. Big pharma groups, like Novartis or GlaxoSmithKline, have long been active campus recruiters, says Dean Vera, director of career management at Rutgers Business School.

But digital has given rise to a greater number of players in healthcare. Tech groups like Google and Apple are investing heavily in the sector, while Theranos, the Silicon Valley blood-testing business, and Zenefits, the HR software company, are among the “health-tech” start-ups to have raised $4.5 billion in 2015, according to Rock Health.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be in the healthcare industry,” says Blake Long, a Duke Fuqua graduate and chief clinical officer at Mosaic Health Solutions, which invests in companies pioneering innovation in healthcare.

Steve Rakas, executive director for careers at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, notes an increase in healthcare job opportunities in areas such as wearable devices.

“Technology has impacted all sectors, and healthcare is not an exception,” he says.

There is seemingly a great demand for digital expertise. While healthcare executives need not become data scientists or software experts, organizations’ strategies are increasingly being shaped by the need to use tech to cut costs and boost efficiency.

“We call these people e-health managers,” says Federico Lega, director of the master in international healthcare management at Italy’s SDA Bocconi School of Management.

There is a feverish demand for trained talent in healthcare and big pharma across the board.

At Cornell’s Johnson School of Management, healthcare recruitment doubled last year, says Cynthia Saunders-Cheatham, executive director of Johnson’s Career Management Center.

Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, Genentech, and Cigna are the most active healthcare employers at Johnson, she says.