Innovating at the Intersection of IT and Care
[Editor’s Note: this blog was
originally written by Jonathan Draper]
down the silos between data sources and departments involves a complex blend of
technology and people that, not surprisingly, can result in conflict along the
way. However, the ultimate goal remains the same for all: protect the patient. Understanding
the concerns of each department and encouraging communication amongst the
groups can reduce this tension, allowing for innovation1 to take hold and enhance
care throughout an organization.
example, consider the implementation of mobile platforms across a health system. In
the past, IT departments deployed and rolled out the technology–in a way,
forcing physicians into it without giving them a say in the matter. As the bring
your own device (BYOD)3 trend gained traction,
physicians began to demand the ability to have access and leverage mobile
technology, similar to their peers in other industries. This was a scary
thought for hospital IT departments that had to think about not only their own
systems, but also how physician behavior might affect security. It took time
for the trend to become a norm; but more importantly, it required the IT team
to acknowledge that mobility is a permanent healthcare tool – not just another
temporary Band-Aid or fad–while care teams had to prove the value of this
access while showing they could manage this power responsibly. These
realizations, in conjunction with the benefits (providing improved access to information),
give everyone a common goal and common direction to work toward.
shift to a collaborative understanding also means that innovators need to be
able to deliver features that are tailored to both audiences–the IT department
and the physicians. It’s a delicate balance in focusing on the usability
features that physicians are looking for, while also making sure that the
solution is deployed in a way that adheres to IT department policies.
an innovator, having the ability to understand both of these worlds is vital in
merging them together and bringing technology trends to a nuanced market.
Bringing only a physician’s perspective reduces the likelihood that you
understand emerging trends that are proving worthwhile in other tech-focused fields
and that will need reshaping to fit a healthcare need. On the other hand, if
you’re only looking at things from a technology/IT perspective, you may not
realize what the healthcare need is in the first place to build something
caregivers are actually willing to adopt!
innovators seek to balance these worlds, they should take inspiration from four
which regulations, buzzwords or pain points keep popping up puts
innovators at the forefront of addressing problems on the horizon – before
anyone else sees them coming.
- Competition: As an extension of industry
trends, it is key to know what competitors (including vendors and leading
health systems) are offering customers (who could be patients!).
Development: Both in
healthcare and IT, “hot breakthroughs” should help guide developments to
address key pain points and drive efficiency, usability and access to
- Regulatory: Staying informed on regulatory
approaches and issues worldwide can position you as a leader in terms of
protecting and investing in patients and their data. Particularly for
global technology, it is critical to make sure that you have the
appropriate features and follow the expected standards to ensure that your
product can be accredited globally.
mobility has demonstrated, the traditional means of care can benefit greatly by
leveraging technology. By working with both IT and caregivers, innovators can
make this a reality.
Draper is the Director of Product Management, Healthcare at Calgary Scientific.
Jonathan directs the product roadmap and works closely with healthcare partners
and institutions globally to develop innovative solutions that address clinical
needs and meet the technical requirements of healthcare enterprises.
1. Pratt, Nancy. “Navigating the Sea of Innovation:
Targeting the Right Audience with the Right Tools.” Mobile Health Matters.
3. BYOD Definition: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/BYOD-bring-your-own-device