I'm excited to be leading a workshop on 'Accelerating Innovation in Healthcare' at IDC's Pan-European Healthcare Executive Summit in Dublin this week. The theme of integrated care and collaboration across the entire healthcare ecosystem is underpinned by innovation, whether that be innovation in hardware such as mobile devices or innovation in thinking around perceptions by providers of what is possible.
Rapid Growth of IoT in Healthcare
I'm particularly interested in how the Internet of Things, robotics and natural language interfaces can change the way healthcare providers deliver high quality care. You may wish to read my earlier blog for a great example of how the Internet of Things is having meaningful impact today, with MimoCare helping the elderly live a more independent life through the use of sensor technology. It is estimated that the Internet of Things in healthcare could be worth $117bn by 2020 so given that we're still in the relatively early stages of IoT implementation in the sector you get some idea of how rapid the adoption of these new technologies is likely to be. Healthcare providers need to be open to collaborating with innovators in this space and, encouragingly, there has been a lot of positive conversation about just that here in Dublin. The result of embracing IoT in healthcare? Lower costs, better patient outcomes and a real move towards prevention rather than cure.
Innovation for the Now
Other technologies discussed at the event included the Intel® RealSense™ Camera which has the potential to be used across a range of scenarios. Bringing 3D depth-sensing technology to healthcare offers up some exciting potential uses from being able to track the 22 joints of a hand to assist in post-operative treatment after hand surgery, to assessing the facial expressions with emotion-detection in patients recovering from a stroke. This is not innovation for the future, this is innovation for the now. We've worked with GPC in the area of wound care management and I think the impact of RealSense™ is summarised succinctly by GPC Medical Director, Dr. Ian Wiles, who said: "[This is] not 3D for the sake of 3D, but better care using 3D".
NLP brings Streamlined Workflows and Lower Costs
When I look at disruptive technologies in healthcare I'm seeing lots of discussion around Natural Language Processing (NLP). NLP has the potential to transform Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) by extracting structured information from unstructured text. Imagine taking historical medical data in the form of freestyle notes and being able to pull that data together into a more structured format to monitor performance and critique clinical decisions. The benefits of NLP to providers are obvious, streamlining workflows, better decision-making and lower costs, all of which benefits the patient too. This will of course require all players in the healthcare ecosystem to be more flexible when it comes to exchanging data. It's still early stages for NLP but I will share some of the work Intel is undertaking in this area in a future blog. If you'd like to be kept up-to-date on this topic and others across the healthcare and life sciences spectrum please do leave your details here.