Health innovation won’t fire up without the right environment
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Health innovation won’t fire up without the right environment

If we want to continue to drive innovation in the health tech space, we need to create the right base framework and set the environment up so that it can flourish. MedicalDirector’s CEO, Matthew Bardsley, discusses.

We’ve taken a look in previous posts at how the right health innovation needs the appropriate type of investment, but now let’s take a look at what it takes to create the right environment and thematics of that setting to increase the pace of change.

If we want to continue to drive innovation in the health tech space, we need to create the right base framework and set the environment up so that it can flourish. Think about it, we can have all the wood and a great fire starter, but if you’re in a vacuum, no matter how much you’re going to click that fire starter, the fire simply won’t start.

If we’re serious about driving health innovation and evolving our digital health ecosystem to enable better health outcomes, we need to move away from a siloed, ‘walled garden’ approach. Instead, we need to operate within an interoperability framework, and use standards that can help speed up the pace of return.

In the current industry landscape, I feel it’s that vital element in our environment which we’re missing right now – that interoperability standard. In fact, a recent study by Dell Technologies revealed the current healthcare landscape is not ready to face the challenges of the ‘pending high-stakes health tech revolution’.

The report uncovered less than 25% of healthcare business leaders globally see themselves as “digital leaders”, while almost two thirds admit 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.

At MedicalDirector, we’re working closely with Government to tackle these industry challenges, and we can see clearly that there are a few lead indicators from the market that we should back. For instance SNOMED CT, FHIR, AMT, are just three main foundational, environmental elements that can really help support interoperability flourish and further drive the pace of innovation.

Grahame Grieve, founder of FHIR, which stands for Fast, Health, Interoperable Resources, says it best when he describes the optimum landscape to drive health innovation as:

“An environment where we have broken down the siloes, by leveraging standards that the community has worked hard to define, so new technologists can implement better, more capable integrated systems that enable better, more accurate health outcomes – while maintaining the privacy and integrity of patient data.”

Moving forward, if we don’t support an environment of interoperability, technology cycles of platform and system refresh rates, new operating systems, mobile and computer hardware releases and cloud software will all outpace health innovation. However if we start to approach the next decade as one in which we need to reshape our environment to support change, we can begin to reshape the future of health in exciting, new and transformative ways.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.