A Focus on People: Innovations That Improve Healthcare Engagements and Outcomes
Posted on 11/11/19 by Andrew Bowditch
The annual HLTH conference bills itself as “the largest and most important conference for health innovation,” so along with a few other members of the Visible Body team, I flew out to Vegas last week. We wanted to meet other innovators and see who and what else is on the cutting edge of healthcare.
There is definitely a lot of technical wizardry happening, but what stuck with me was how people-focused the overall discussion in Vegas was. The healthcare community is looking at technologies and innovations through the lens of patients. What is top of mind is improving the healthcare experience: increasing patient access and engagement, enhancing relationships between providers and the people they serve, and doing this while reducing costs and improving outcomes.
My brother Matt (left) and I at HLTH 2019
That’s all a mouthful and seems like a lofty goal, but it is already happening. I was part of so many conversations about the problems that are in the process of being solved and the new challenges before us. And all of it reminded me of what we hear from our core customers: healthcare educators and students. Just like a patient’s health problems (and health solutions) don’t leave them when they leave the doctor’s office, students aren’t always in the classroom but still need ways to learn, review, and retain complex information. A patient carefully adhering to a medical protocol has a lot in common with a student purposefully studying after they leave the lecture: both use the tools they have at their disposal as well as their own resolve to achieve a successful outcome. The better the tools, and the more those tools can bolster their own natural resolve, the more successful their outcomes will be.
Watch the six-minute tech talk given at HTLH 2019 on using virtual anatomy to improve outcomes
The talk I gave at HLTH focused on how Visible Body software supports three key healthcare delivery trends:
Enhancing the way students learn, doctors practice, and people understand their bodies through easy to use, highly visual, and affordable technology
Expanding access to health information in many languages on both high-end devices as well as on older computers and on the smartphones so many people carry
Improving outcomes by providing engaging and compelling ways for students, doctors, and patients to connect with relevant information and tools
A thought-provoking idea I heard again and again was about customers driving change to get the kind of healthcare they want in the 21st century. Who doesn’t want Amazon-like reliability, convenience and pricing, with Four Seasons-like personal attention? That’s the goal in healthcare!
So while advancements in technology are definitely spurring innovation, the power of the people to drive change cannot be underestimated. Millennials now have their own families and make their needs known. The oldest of the new Generation Z are now adults. Telemedicine is no longer a futuristic fantasy: over 75% of U.S. hospitals already have a telemedicine program. Ten years ago there were a few hundred retail health clinics; today, companies like CVS have opened clinics, and the number is over 2,500. It is really up to all of us to think not about what is in place today, but how we would like things to be in the future. Make it the near future—things are moving fast!
It was gratifying to attend and present at HLTH 2019 and see innovations aimed at improving access and care for the most important piece of this massive industry: the patients, more commonly known as—us.