Fellow “techies” sometimes ask me what’s so interesting about healthcare.
Healthcare, isn’t that a quite boring field with technologies that looked hot in the 90s? Isn’t it an immense struggle to convince all those healthcare professionals in their ivory towers about the value digital technologies can bring? Don’t I need a medical background to do something really meaningful in healthcare?
My answers are no, no and no.
Because there’s a need for more tech talent in the field of healthcare to help improving it, I’ve listed 9 reasons why techies should use their tech skills for better healthcare.
You Can Save Lives
Admittedly this is an obvious one. Although you can also save lives in other fields there’s no field where your tech skills can have the same impact as they can have in healthcare. Surely not every healthcare technology directly saves lives but each solution aims at improving healthcare and health as such. As someone building healthcare solutions your contribution will undeniably be one of the pieces of a life saving puzzle.
There’s Lots of Room for Improvement
Healthcare is regularly referred to as one of the key fields where the digital transformation still has a massive potential. The existing digital healthcare solutions are still too often an example of digitized paper and few of them were created with good UX/UI in mind. The downside of this is that healthcare professionals often are not too pleased with the existing tools as they add administrative overhead and are cumbersome to use. A perfect opportunity to throw your tech and design skills in the game to create user-centered solutions.
You Can Use the Coolest Technologies
It’s easy to find lots of hyperbolic statements about new technologies around the block(chain). You’re really into A.I.? Or rather AR/VR? Security? What about Wearables and IoT? Conversational interfaces? You want to go wild with Microservices in a Serverless architecture to offer seamless interoperability? I’ve got some good news for you. There are few technologies that don’t have use cases with huge potential in healthcare. And this is of course not about just using a cool technology but about using a technology to actually improve healthcare.
It’s So Complex You Won’t Get Bored
If you like simple things you may want to search another domain. Healthcare is complex, healthcare is very complex. The solutions you’ll build need to be clinically validated and evidence-based which may scare of some techies. The good thing however, is that this implies you’ll have lots of challenges and hence won’t get bored easily.
You Can Easily Relate to It
Everyone knows the value of being in good health. Everyone has seen loved ones suffer from bad health. That’s exactly the reason why I believe everyone has an intrinsic motivation to actually help and improve healthcare. Technology has a big potential to help people and healthcare professionals to make the shift from sick care to healthcare. Lots of healthcare futurists believe that technology will prevent that you become sick in the first place by giving you timely and actionable warnings of potential problems. Who doesn’t want to help building the technology platforms that can turn such an exciting future into a reality?
There’s Lots of Knowledge to Tap Into
Digital Health is becoming a hot topic. You can find lots of information already through specialized web sites. Furthermore, actors in healthcare are actively exchanging information through social media. The time that medicine was practiced in the ivory towers is over. Ivory towers still exist to some extent, but instead of excluding the society from being involved in the future of medicine they exclude themselves from the future of medicine being unravelled outside of these last ivory towers left standing.
You Can Help Healthcare Professionals Focus on Humane Care
Healthcare solutions, like most others, should be build together with the intended user whether it’s the patient (or rather person), healthcare provider or any other healthcare actor. If you’re someone who likes to involve users into building solutions (and you should) then healthcare really needs you as this is too often still not done right currently. By involving them you will create solutions that will actually save them time and focus more on the one quality that is very hard to replace by tech: the empathic relationship between caregivers and patients.
You Can Play With the Big Boys
Big Boys? Which Big Boys? Well, you might have heard of companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple & Microsoft and you probably use quite some of their products. You might even fancy to work for them at one stage in your career. That’s great! Cause these Big Boys are turning their attention towards healthcare and are all investing heavily in the field. Experience with Digital Health and understanding the complexity of the healthcare domain will be a much sought after asset.
You Can Work for One of The Many Digital Health Startups or… Found Your Own
For those that prefer to work at a startup rather than at a more mature company there is plenty of choice as well. Funding in Digital Health startups is increasing and healthcare is one of the top 5 sectors where smart money VC firms invest in. If you’ve got the right tech skills and drive you should be able to find a Digital Health startup that matches your interests and join them to build better healthcare experiences together. Alternatively, if you’re really entrepreneurial you can found your own of course. There are lots of initiatives that can support you in this endeavour.
As you can tell, there are plenty of reasons to help build meaningful solutions in healthcare.
What are you waiting for?