The One Health Care Innovation That Will Make A Difference

Eugene Burokhovich

“When two ideas have sex, innovation happens” – at least the first part is highly attributed to Matt Ridley in his fascinating talk on TED . If I rewind back to June of 2008, when I started the NYC Healthcare Technology Group (quickly rebranded to Health 2.0 NYC when I met Matthew Holt), the idea behind it was to bring together people, share ideas, knowledge and connect, create and ultimately cure together.

With a great team in Amsterdam, which includes Katarzyna (Kasia) Rabczuk, Olivier Blanson Henkemans, and Paul Pelsmaeker, we are replicating and adjusting the model, and growing this great Health 2.0 community in the Netherlands, with the support of the mothership in San Francisco.

Since joining SoftServe in January of this year, I have hosted health care innovators’ dinners in Berlin, Manchester, and now Copenhagen.

On March 27th, together with the US Embassy, we gathered 30 opinion leaders in the market to learn about SoftServe and our capabilities (ofcourse), but most importantly learn about each other, share ideas, success stories, and discuss the challenges in Denmark and beyond.

People were intrigued but were not sure what the outcome should be from the dinner aside from some networking. We had 30 of us (and all were very hungry), but I asked everyone to give a 30 second elevator pitch on who they are, where they are from, and what is the ONE innovation that will make a big impact in health care in the next few years.

I will try to summarize in no particular order what I gathered around the table (though I put the juicier ones towards the end):

  • Mobile – If Matthew Holt reads this he will get chills in his bones, but a big topic ofcourse, was mHealth (yes Matthew – Health Interface Layer has not picked up steam just yet), and explicitly, it’s impact in developing countries.
  • Cloud – another sexy word, but it is happening; and the ability to access your data anytime anywhere, and scale up down based on demand is certainly on people’s agendas – though not sure if I would call it a true innovation at this point
  • Quantified Self devices – well now with the Basis Science acquisition by Intel, enough said
  • Personalized Medicine – this is a lose definition that really describes anti-industrialization in health care, and ranged from actual personalized drugs to personalized treatments to personalized clinical analytics and pathways.
  • Women running hospitals – this was a great one!  The innovative idea is that when all the hospitals are run by women, total and holistic and personalized health care will make its way into the system quickly
  • Telemedicine – how long have we been talking about this now?? Still not here but the person that made this statement is standing behind this innovation, and believes strongly this will happen and change health care!
  • Patients around the world owning their data – must I say more?
  • Getting rid of printers – had to throw this one in but of course the key behind this is complete digitization, interoperability, and adoption of all the technologies.

This brings me to the last and probably most important point: 26% of the attendees listed the same thing as their choice of one innovation that will make a difference – innovation adoption practices. The key point here is that we have a lot of activity in the health IT market, but if you notice the name as it stands, “Health IT” ends up drawing a box around the IT department, and another box around everyone else. There was a strong feeling in the room that while technology has absolutely tremendous value, we need to ensure that the organizational structures and the internal/external incentive systems are aligned for all this great technology to be adopted.

Eugene Burokhovich is the VP Healthcare, European Markets at SoftServe Inc. He is also the founder and a community organizer of Health 2.0 NYC & Health 2.0 Amsterdam. He can be reached at @HealthEugene or MyReal360.com.

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