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Wellness Envy


As the wellness industry becomes a big business, here's a sketch of what the future business model might look like.

My wife gave me a membership to Massage Envy for a holiday present and I enjoyed my first visit. I guess she thought it would make me a little more agreeable and was a bit healthier than a few vodka martinis every night.

After the visit (not during, since I was supposed to chill and stop thinking about biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship for at least 50 minutes), I wondered about the present and future directions of the wellness franchise business. For those struggling to create their business model canvas, here are a few suggestions:

1. Brand and position your product to be mainstream, not on the fringes of traditional Western Sick Care medicine.

2. Offer validated new technologies like pharmacogenetic testing, mobile medical apps that work, remote sensing, and behavioral health products and services.

3. Create strategic partnerships with employers and other self-funded entities.

4. Use state-of-the-art business processes, like online scheduling, prominently posted price lists, online data capture, kiosks, and all the rest.

5. Use aggressive social media, marketing, and communications to build the brand.

6. Break down the regulatory and legal barriers between Sick Care, healthcare, and the franchising models.

7. Create a team of interdisciplinary wellness professionals and sell to franchisees who can practice at the top of their licenses.

8. Offer competitive pricing to attract the masses, not just those with the discretionary income to have sugar oil spread all over their feet once a month.

9. Integrate information systems with legacy sick care EMRs to gather data from these kinds of alternative points of care.

10. Offer a validated line of disease prevention and behavior modification products and services.

Sick Care will have a hard time being healthcare. We need a new model and they need to be integrated. However, one thing will always be the same and that is someone is likely to sue you, regardless of what you do.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
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