The Healthcare Dinner Party

AlanPortela-croppedBy Alan Portela, CEO of AirStrip
Twitter: @AirStripmHealth

It may not be obvious, but the healthcare industry has been preparing for an enormous dinner party. Over the last several years, innovation vendors like AirStrip have been adding ingredients to our fridges and pantries based on numerous requests from customers. Metaphorically, this would be just about anything you can imagine that will transform clinical collaboration. At this point, companies can support a wide variety of different use cases across the continuum of care. However, the next phase is for healthcare industry to sit down at the table since it has been set up already for the big dinner party. The table and the settings are the EMRs, EHRs, medical device companies, among others. If we keep replacing them we will starve to death. Now, we need to spend more time figuring out what exactly the healthcare providers are trying to cook – getting to know their specific use cases by clinical service lines and working backwards with the ingredients that already exist, rather than waiting for food to appear magically at the table.
To do this, medical technology vendors must know their role in the process: to serve as a canvas for customer innovation. The goal is to use the strength of technology platforms that are created and have them run seamlessly in a way that provides clinicians the right data to address their patients’ needs. Each hospital and health system knows what they like and need better than anyone else – and working with them to design these systems accordingly will inspire innovation that can help other organizations. The vendor’s role is to take the technology that seems simple to the creators, and make it user-friendly and accessible in time-sensitive scenarios. This innovation could be things like bringing in contextual images, video, secure messaging, and other third-party components that are brought to customer’s APIs on top of a mobile platform all in context. Thus, physicians are able to work more efficiently, improve workflow and ultimately lead to better patient outcomes.

In the coming years, mobility adoption will be the fastest growing technology trend in healthcare, functioning primarily as a delivery mechanism for clinical decision support for healthcare providers. Physicians are clearly mobile professionals, and clinically relevant data needs to be provided to them wherever they are in order to improve the quality of care. Clinical decision support delivered via mobile devices will rely on a number of underlying technologies that are essential for clinical transformation. They include: big data analytics, real-time processing engines, tools focused on interoperability, care coordination, patient engagement and cloud computing.

Thus, medical technology companies need to assess what the hospitals are trying to ‘cook’ and create the technology to meet the needs of their use cases. Once these needs have been discovered, medical technology companies can whip up the perfect personalized recipe for each hospital or health system – one batch at a time.

About the Author:  Alan Portela has more than 25 years of experience in bringing groundbreaking medical technology solutions to market. Mr. Portela originally joined AirStrip as a senior advisor and member of the Board of Directors prior to his appointment as CEO in 2011. His vision of healthcare mobility has helped guide efforts to solidify AirStrip’s leadership position in a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape.  This article was originally published on Mobile Health Matters and is republished here with permission.