The human species has since long been pushing its own boundaries through the creation of new technologies. Many renowned futurists expect that this will happen at an exponential pace from now on, thanks to digitalization.
Digital Transformation is probably the most cited term in business nowadays, frequently used hand in hand with that other trendy term: disruptive. While both words have different, and often vague, meanings in the heads of many people they are definitely urging businesses to rethink almost every aspect of the products and services they deliver and how they are delivering them.
Better Healthcare Through Technology
Healthcare is undoubtedly one of the fields that will be impacted the most by this digital revolution. There are countless startups bringing new technologies to the field of healthcare.
Wearables and insideables will make sure that you’ll know well up-front when your health is deteriorating. You’ll even have your digital twin that could portray a virtual reality version of your future self to show you what would happen if you don’t adopt more healthy behavior. Artificial intelligence will use the “human big data” and explain you through a chatbot or personal audio assistant how to avoid getting that certain chronic disease.
Your medical record will be fully under your control with blockchain and in case you do get sick your doctor (or her or his Digital Twin?) will be just one swipe away through telehealth as the physical hospital of the future will only still be there for the really complex care interventions. And then we haven’t even touched how advancements in genomics can add another proactive twist to your health.
When you paint the above picture of the future, most people active in healthcare think that this is still very far away or get frightened by the idea that their job will change, for the worse. When they see concrete examples of what’s already possible today though, more than often they are left in awe. Most of the time they “get stuck in the awe phase” however, which is not per se a bad thing. Those highly dedicated people and their organizations simply continue what they do best: delivering great healthcare.
At that very same moment another organization uses that “awe phase” to take steps into the future of healthcare by discovering and trying out new technologies. A move that might lead to even better healthcare.
But how on earth can you avoid getting lost in the labyrinth of health technologies?
Let me tell you how.
A Step-Wise Approach for Co-Discovering Health Technologies
In order to get inspired by new health technologies as an organization a step-wise approach was developed adhering to the following famous phrase.
Technology is a means to an end and not an end itself
Although serendipity plays an important role in our lives, we can not always jump blindly into the sea of technological solutions. Therefore the approach starts from a joint purpose serving as the starting point for a co-discovery session.
In this session all key healthcare actors of your organization (this means doctors, nurses, patients, … #everyoneincluded) must be represented. Through divergent and convergent thinking these actors navigate to technologies and example solutions through the five steps depicted in the figure below. They are guided in their discovery by someone who know the healthcare technology landscape.
This approach ensures that you jointly discover technologies that matter to your organization (as they serve your purpose) and that you as well have some concrete example solutions build on these technologies.
Discover By Example
Because practice always beats theory, the approach is showcased through a co-discovery exercise done recently at the Flemish Innovation Festival of Dag van de Zorg (The Day of Care).
A group of 9 people, each with a different professional healthcare background, came together to co-discover how digital technologies can lead to more humane and personal care. During that session we got through the first three phases which were then mapped to a number of technologies and solutions. In this example you’ll see mainly Belgian solutions as part of the Belgian #BeHealth initiative.
You can interactively explore this concrete use case of co-discovering health technologies here: https://healthendeavour.agency/discovery/
Are you ready to explore?