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Point of view: How to build innovation culture in healthcare

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No need to buy a healthcare start-up! 

You might just want to sit it out and finally acquire that pricey start-up. But you can also choose to drive innovation from inside your company at much lower cost: Establish radical patient-centric thinking into your development processes. This is where a lot of start-up disruption is originating. And it is the clue to challenges such as enabling engaged patients and consumerizing medical technology.

The patient – formerly “the single most unused person in healthcare" (D. Cutler/MIT Technology Review) – has been identified as a key source for innovation: The design of the product, the service, the logistics, and the entire ecosystem around it need to follow a patient-centric approach. While this recipe might sound simple, here are some tough challenges to address:

1. Enable the engaged patient

The relationship between physicians and patients has changed. Patients now have access to almost any information on their condition, about standards and options of treatment. Engaged patients demand an up-to-date, holistic and custom approach to their personal health issues. Build on their disposition and empower them, their physician will act as a mentor instead of an instructor.

2. Connect stakeholders

Reflect on how many stakeholders and different touch points patients have today in taking care of their health: physician, clinic, care-giver, insurance provider, medical device supplier, etc. Find opportunities to connect patients and other stakeholders more effectively. Finally, technology is at hand to win over regulatory obstacles. 

3. Domesticate healthcare

Many medical services, e.g. for dialysis, diabetes, cancer or hospice, are moving into patients’ homes. While this relieves the healthcare system, it can burden patients, their loved ones and their environment. Push the next generation of home healthcare devices to be more intuitive and integrated with the home. Boost patients’ confidence and convenience by building relevant services and safety networks around your device.

4. Get ready for voice control

Touchscreen interaction is state of the art today and while visual interfaces will exist for decades to come, expect voice control to become a new standard in the future. It promises more intuitive interactions, safety and comfort, especially for the growing group of seniors, who will use these systems at home. Besides mastering the integration of this new technology, achieving perfect usability and seamless interaction will be your key challenges.

5. Consumerize medical technology

Digital Healthcare, the Internet of Things, and value-based care are driving the consumerization of healthcare. But also the next generation of high tech devices and service ecosystems for professionals will profit from that trend. Less training and minimized human errors are rewarding effects on top. 

Keen to gain further insights on how to effectively develop new products or services? We are happy to share our expertise in strategic design thinking and doing for healthcare and life sciences.

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