1) P&G is placing a bet (be it a small one by P&G standards) on the reinvention of consumer health business models. MDVIP is a fast growing physician network whose member doctors charge patients an annual fee -- in exchange, these patients gain more individualized attention, reduced waiting times and a more proactive preventive care wellness model. The doctors win because they're able to focus on fewer, more profitable patients and deliver a higher quality level of care, and hopefully better results. Very fortelling and very interesting that the maker of Tide and Pampers is going after an opportunity so far from its core. Like GE's move many years ago from being an industrial products company to today's service and financial powerhouse, P&G may be quietly remaking itself in the long run into a more diversified and profitable enterprise.
2) It's yet another piece of evidence of the attractiveness of the health care market, as large companies look for new sources of growth. From Microsoft's very aggressive moves into online health and wellness products and portals (Microsoft health strategy), to Virgin Atlantic's move into corporate wellness (Virgin Life Care), to Best Buy's ongoing experiment in retail health/wellness (EqLife) and even Steve Case from AOL now running Revolution, a company building a broad portfolio of wellness ventures, the pieces all point to a MAJOR trend unfolding. The need to reinvent our broken US health care system, rising costs, aging baby boomers, emerging technologies, increased venture capital investment, etc. etc. keep pointing to great opportunities in the health space. And it's moving well beyond the traditional medical and bio technology ventures. Many of these new opportunities are reinventions of the business model for delivering health care.
3) P&G's acquisition was explored and driven by its own stand-alone FutureWorks, which is charged with finding and building new growth platforms for P&G. FutureWorks represents another important aspect of P&G's open innovation business model (Connect and Develop). Where P&G's technology sourcing is done via NineSigma, technology scouting and other means, FutureWorks helps P&G find and incubate entire new business opportunities. It's another coming trend in open innovation... internal and external incubation groups. Not traditional business development groups that are focused on pure M&A and not traditional corporate venturing groups that are generally about investing funding into technology driven startups of interest, these corporate incubation groups blur the boundary between advanced product groups, business development and R&D. Jarden Consumer Solutions has a similar group called New Sources of Growth, charged with identifying and -proving out new incremental strategic business opportunities that fall in the white spaces outside of their existing business teams.