Demystifying health innovation

We take a look at why innovation is the true catalyst for driving efficiencies in healthcare and enabling better, more accurate health outcomes.

What is driving health innovation?

Every year, the health sector faces increasing pressures to improve quality of care, reduce harm, improve access to healthcare, drive efficiency and lower costs. At the same time, chronic disease, looming staff shortages and tighter budgets are placing increasing pressure on healthcare professionals to do more with less.

Is health keeping up with change?

Traditional health operating systems and ways of doing things are no longer enough to keep up with the pace of change. In fact, a new report has found we’re on the cusp of a new era of human-machine partnership, but healthcare is not prepared for the change.

Dell Technologies recently teamed-up with Institute for the Future (IFTF) and 20 experts to release the Vanson Bourne Realizing 2030 survey, which asked 3800 business leaders from around the world to project into the future and forecast how emerging technologies – such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), will reshape how we live and work by 2030.

Less than 25% of healthcare business leaders globally said they see themselves as “digital leaders”, while almost two thirds admitted they are actually struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change.

And the number of healthcare professionals in the public sector who say they are struggling is considerably more at two-thirds, compared to the private sector where a third admit they’re struggling to keep up.

Meanwhile over 75% of healthcare business leaders around the world do predict that humans and machines will work more cohesively as integrated teams in their organisations within the next five years. But when it comes to the crunch, just over 25% are actually doing this in the public sector, and a third in the private sector.

Will open standards of care drive innovation?

General Practice can transform core clinical systems and embrace interoperability for a more personalised approach to patient-centric care.

According to MedicalDirector’s CEO, Matthew Bardsley, if General Practice is to be the cornerstone of healthcare for the wider population, then it’s time to ensure standardised, efficient and open systems are in place – which encourage innovation and facilitate a system of interoperability. And with more widely accepted standards, you can also minimise risks, while maximising returns, which can drive even further innovation downstream.

“The more I travel, the more I’m starting to see the increased need for driving innovation and accelerating healthcare efficiencies at a global level,” he said. “In my recent trips to the US and UK, I gained some interesting insights as to the broader systemic issues the healthcare industry faces today, as well as the different models of care and different industry pressure points.

“It made me realise how we need to act fast and act now, to ensure these healthcare platforms are open and operate to the standards that enable better, more patient-centric outcomes, while being part of an efficient, secure and streamlined ecosystem of interoperability.”

According to Bardsley, if we are serious about driving and accelerating patient engagement, we need to work within these open systems in a collaborative way, partnering with the right healthcare innovators to further enable that change.

“To do that in a safe and secure way, as an industry, we need to recognise that General Practice software needs a radical overhaul in the way in which it operates,” he said. “We need to embrace a more sustainable, flexible and scalable model that best supports healthcare now and in the future.”

Who is getting it right?

Technology has always played a crucial role in healthcare innovation, and further advances to drive digital transformation will create enormous new possibilities and opportunities. One example of a truly innovative solution is MedicalDirector’s cloud-based clinical and practice management solution, Helix, which gives health professionals the flexibility to streamline their workflow anywhere and anytime, on any device. Built on the best in-market secure Microsoft Azure platform, Helix maintains security as a top priority while helping drive workflow efficiencies for health professionals and practice managers.

“At MedicalDirector, our team works with an amazing group of people who share the same passion and vision to drive better health outcomes,” Bardsley said. “And we will continue to innovate, working closely with doctors, the Government, patients and industry, so that together, we can make people healthier around the world.”