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Digital Flywheels: The New Health System Imperative

November 2022 | Sara Vaezy & Bethany Vick

Companies like Amazon, Starbucks, Nike, Domino’s and Vail Resorts have built compelling examples of flywheels enabled by pairing physical services with digital platforms. In contrast, healthcare consumers don’t engage with health systems between episodes of care, and even though many models like value-based care have tried to shift to a more holistic and preventive care model, healthcare in the US remains focused on ‘sick care.’

Rather than get close to consumers, the system is focused on the episodic (or fragmented) clinical experiences and needs that present themselves, rather than a lasting relationship that has broader scope, scale, and relevance. This report takes a deep dive into the flywheel concept, exploring:


  1. The barriers that prevent health systems from building a flywheel
  2. What we can learn from flywheel innovators
  3. The value a flywheel in healthcare could deliver


Sara Vaezy
EVP, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer, Providence
Bethany Vick
Senior Digital Strategy Manager, Providence Digital Innovation Group

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