Big Tech Layoffs Could Benefit Healthcare

“As big tech companies continue laying off their skilled workforce in droves, those workers can find opportunity, purpose and incredible skills-alignment in healthcare.”

Seth Jospeh, Forbes contributor
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Last week two articles hit my news feeds on the same topic, the layoffs in the tech sector. One by Forbes contributor Seth Joseph focused on the opportunities in health care. And the second in Fast Company magazine by Josh Hendler focused on opportunities in the nonprofit sector.

Facing rising costs and widespread economic uncertainty, big tech companies continue laying off their skilled workforce in droves. From Meta to Twitter, Amazon to Stripe, and AirBnB to Zillow, network effects-driven platforms across industries are trying to right-size their forces, facing the consequences of over-hiring in recent years while navigating 40-year inflation highs. I’d been following the layoffs since the start of the year. But I had no idea how many people had been affected by the cuts. The graphic below shows the cumulative numbers since the beginning of the year.

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The number of layoffs is staggering. But as the two articles point out, within every crisis is a silver lining. For both big-tech workers debating their next career move and healthcare organizations needing big-tech chops and network effects experience, the landslide of layoffs means there is an abundance of tech talent available and plenty of companies – and an entire industry – that stand to benefit.

Using the three reasons healthcare is a prime landing spot for these out-of-work tech professionals in Joseph’s article, I’ll add some comments on why I think techies should seriously consider a move into the healthcare industry and healthcare nonprofits.

“There are massive problems that exist in healthcare, with an infinite number of ways to use technology and data to help solve them — and increasingly, this includes platforms and network effects. Taking a page from big-tech platform companies like Amazon and Apple, healthcare companies are finding new and novel ways to leverage platforms to help fix longstanding, systemic industry issues.”

Seth Joseph, Forbes Contributor

My Take: If you like to solve big problems, healthcare is a good fit for your skills. We still function in multiple data silos, and sharing patient records across platforms is a nightmare. Platform companies are uniquely suited to address challenges endemic to healthcare – where issues stem from a lack of consistent data and massive fragmentation, impacting everything from care coordination and quality to cost and patient/consumer experience. And healthcare data companies like Truveta are hiring

YouTube Video Credit: Truveta

“Big-tech talent outside of healthcare can also serve to improve and help redesign the consumer health experience.”

Seth Joseph, Forbes Contributor

My Take: If you are skilled in user interface design, we desperately need you in healthcare. Take a look at most consumer-facing healthcare apps, and you’ll see they are challenging to navigate, confusing for the end user, and do not integrate well with the information infrastructure of most organizations.

“Research from McKinsey in 2022 similarly found that 70 percent of employees say their personal sense of purpose is defined by their work — and when that work feels meaningful, they perform better, are much more committed and about half as likely to search for a new job. And earlier research from McKinsey in 2020 found that 82 percent of workers want their company to have a purpose and contribute positively to society.”

Seth Joseph, Forbes Contributor

My Take: If you want to do work that dramatically impacts people’s lives, healthcare needs you. There is personal merit in working in healthcare technology, a mission, and a purpose in the space absent in other industries. Finding this purpose can be a welcome shift for technologists looking for more meaning in their work while helping improve their mental health and well-being. The work that you can do in healthcare benefits not only patients and their families but also the workers who provide care to those patients. Your work in making the healthcare system easier to navigate for patients and their families is crucial to eliminating friction and frustration in dealing with the system. And anything you can do to eradicate frustrating, non-value-adding work for healthcare workers would go a long way in reducing the burnout they are currently experiencing. The best part of this work is it is immediately visible to you. You can see that you are making an impact.

“Many across the philanthropic and nonprofit world have caught on, from the federal government to conservation organizations, seeking out tech workers to improve outdated systems—and compensating them competitively.”

Josh Hendler, Fast Company

My Take: If you are passionate about making an impact for organizations and causes that have a real social impact, consider looking at the nonprofit sector for meaningful work. As Hendler points out in his article, exploring resources such as All Tech Is Human, U.S. of Tech, U.S. Digital Response, Fast Forward, Tech Jobs for Good, and Design Gigs for Good are helpful starting points to explore full-time, part-time, and volunteering opportunities in the impact sector. These organizations have put together job boards, talent pools, guides, and virtual and in-person communities to unite technologists who aim to make their mark for the good of society.

Bottom line – Healthcare needs you. There is a huge opportunity to do good via tech and digital strategy in healthcare. And the timing is right, as the market will only be growing and is (relatively) recession-proof. While this is a challenging time, technologists have the power to create meaningful change, improving the lives of others, as well as their own, at an unprecedented scale. Join us.

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