The word “HealthTech” was virtually on everyone’s lips over the last two weeks. With ViVE’s inaugural conference (a joint initiative by HLTH and CHIME) as well as HIMSS returning in full force with experts and thought leaders from around the world, our Sava and Andrew were right at the spot to participate, discuss, and hear more about the shifts and emerging patterns in healthcare that will have the biggest impact on patient outcomes. They were eager to gauge their impressions of the two conferences and share them with us.
Here are the most inspiring topics that caught their attention:
1. AI everywhere. Still hype, but rapidly moving beyond the technology phase and into the use-case phase.
AI’s dramatic effects on patients for good or bad (for instance, Epic’s Sepsis Early Warning system) and the health system imply that one can’t just say “AI” any longer. Everyone can “do” AI or AI-enabled care, but meaningful impact means deeper use cases that avoid misleading or costly mistakes.
Here are a few thought-provoking discussions:
- Embedded AI in devices opens completely new use cases on the Edge, where AI can triage, improve practitioner decision-making, and prioritise the most critical health cases without computational and infrastructure intensity needed in centralised models.
- Integrated multimodal information dramatically improves the holistic view of a person necessary for early detection, triage, and treatment of a disease. Multi-modality and multi-vendor information won’t go away any time soon. Unlocking the data is essential to expand these use cases.
- Evolved data strategies. Making meaningful AI deployment means opening the black box and finding the right incentive model to attract balanced, contextual data instead of cleaning “rough” data.
2. Next-generation data strategy in privacy, health equity, and interoperability is becoming a necessity.
Interoperability between different systems, platforms, and devices is massively needed for data and patient care, but there are still too many walled gardens. 3rd party solutions attempt to bridge this, but these walls persist, partially due to financial reasons and technical constraints. Early inclusion of population and geographical factors into data strategies before models are built is now becoming mainstream, especially for health equity and federated AI approaches.
3. Ensuring human-centred (or patient-centred) design thinking from the beginning is paramount for progressive impact.
Sound, fundamental design thinking is at the forefront of many conversations. Whether considering value-based care or rethinking product models as a PBM or a major provider, ViVE reinforced that companies are spending more time and investment ensuring that proper human-centered (or patient-centered) design thinking starts at the beginning. Examples of numerous companies realizing this too late include telemedicine, RPM, and home devices. They’ve jumped straight to technology while missing key design problem elements that impact the patient and consumer. This often concludes with mediocre results or pivoting to entirely new strategies. Many, however, are beginning to focus acutely on the importance of design for personalization and patient/customer-centricity — working toward tested and proven outcomes that instigate delivery, scale, and commercialization of something that makes a tangible progressive impact.
4. Corporate MedTech companies are now far more likely to partner with innovation firms and venture studios than before.
Several corporate venture firms (McKesson, Ochsner Health, Kaiser Permanente) made excellent points about finding the right partners to build solutions — ideate and then validate, build rapidly, test, and make sure that the fit with the company is as important as the innovation and delivery.
5. The role of EHRs is evolving and becoming a top priority for healthcare facilities worldwide.
Cerner‘s CEO, David Feinberg, highlighted the path ahead on innovating around medical records:
- Make usability well done
- Let nurses be by the bedside and focus on what matters most
- Make it super easy for them to manage care
- Take disparate information, normalize it, and make it useful
- Make sure the right information gets to the right person at the right time
The EHRs, principally Epic and Cerner, are arguably perceived as incrementally innovating. It remains to be seen how quickly they can address the above.
6. The need for technological talent is greater than ever before.
Digital transformations were a prominent theme in presentations and conversations. Essentially, transformations require engineering and development talent, especially with a strategic eye towards interoperability. This affects speed and scale and opens questions like: “Will there be the right talent available to build the solutions we need?”
The promises of digital transformations may outpace the ability to deliver. Company leaders are doing a better job by bringing the technology to bear on this challenge. Still, they need to bring enough talent to address rapid innovation, de-risk and accelerate new ideas and scale the good ones to life.
Where ViVE and HIMSS Play Differently
According to Andrew, the inaugural ViVE event made it clear that moving and shaking are happening in the health space.
“To accomplish the necessary changes promised, companies are aware of the substantial resources needed to push the industry forward through thoughtful, innovative technology. From my perspective, the entire industry, regardless of size or subsector of health, is actively seeking avenues to meet their customers’ needs using data, stronger touchpoints, and more thoughtful products and platforms.”
Sava explained that ViVE’s inaugural arrival this year ahead of HIMSS reflects a specific gap in attendees’ needs and the changing dynamic of how HealthTech conversations are evolving and innovating.
“ViVE’s focus on business and HealthTech is efficiently narrowed to senior decision-makers and networking compared to HIMSS’s massive industry reach. Yet, what is more surprising is that those who have attended both conferences cannot agree which one is most useful.”
Where Does This Passion for HealthTech Come from?
Sava points out that you have to understand the context to build things. With an ever-growing global network of consultants and clients, HTEC Group has a broad view of today’s evolving technology landscape and understands the opportunities new capabilities create.
“I take pride, for example, in the HTEC’s AI team excellence — they can help you turn these opportunities into a competitive advantage.”
We would like to hear your thoughts on the topics listed above. Pick a virtual slot and reach out to our Sava and Andrew to discuss the hottest trends, topics that caught your attention, or maybe open some new ones. We are all ears!