Skip to main content

New Healthcare Innovations Are Here! Don't Get Left Behind!
By: Nataliya Zlotnikov, MSc, HBSc

Is Our Healthcare Future Dystopian? 

Before watching the following video, take a moment to think about what is your vision for the future of healthcare.

Now, watch this (slightly) dystopian science fiction 1-minute short on what some people envision the future of healthcare will look like. 

Well, that was a bit invasive, to say the least, but it was easy and in your home. Was the future you imagined anything like this video?

 

Be an Architect of the Future, Not a Victim!

When it comes to predicting the future of healthcare, science fiction is often eerily on the money. As healthcare practitioners and innovators in this age, the power to shape the real future of healthcare is in our hands. 

Today's blog will cover a few of the ideas and predictions discussed in Embodia's online healthcare course, Technology in Healthcare.

This course uses videos recorded at HealthTO and TechTO events in Toronto and reviews the current state of healthcare in parallel to the landscape of technology from a multidisciplinary, innovative perspective while also providing predictions for the future.

Here is a snippet from this course of Toronto Mayor John Tory discussing the importance of innovation in 10-seconds.  

 

Toronto Mayor John Tory Addresses TechToronto

To learn more about everything from health insurance to artificial intelligence from the experts,  take a look at this online healthcare course by clicking below; or continue reading for a preview/summary. 

Technology in Healthcare

 

What You Will Learn in This Course

  1. An introduction to technology and why it is important to our healthcare systems as we move to evolve in the 21st century
  2. What are startups and what are the basic tenants of entrepreneurship in healthcare
  3. The future of health benefits and insurance
  4. Technology: Why now?
  5. Collaboration is king: Why cross-industry collaboration is crucial for the advancement of our healthcare system and our professions
  6. Security and privacy: What is it and what do we need to know?
  7. Artificial Intelligence (AI): How will it change healthcare?

 

What COVID-19 Did for Tech 

Need is the mother of adoption and innovation.

Healthcare has often been an industry that is resistant to change and risk, and with good reason - we have the lives and well-being of other humans in our hands, you really don't want to take any chances. 

But today it is safer to be risky - to fortify your desire to do truly amazing things. Once you see that the old ways have nowhere to go but down, it becomes even more imperative to create a physiotherapy and healthcare brand, experience and business worth talking about.

More than anything, the pandemic has driven an appetite for technology. This year saw the adoption of more tech than we have seen in the past decade! With virtual-care being the most prevalent one. 

We stress adoption more than creation because, for the greater part, this tech was already there, but many more people adopted it, and suddenly, the things that were impossible now became necessary, and almost everyone adopted them. 

 

Innovations From the Pandemic 

Many innovations and/or their application sprouted out of the pandemic. Some of these healthcare innovations include:

  • Virtual care apps
  • Streamable digital stethoscopes
  • Remote auditory care
  • Remote wound care 

However, changes were not solely technologically based, the new normal saw clinics and facilities reinventing themselves completely. Some of these changes include: 

  • Technical support liaisons: The creation of this new position, technical support liaisons - persons who make sure that all clients/patients are able to use and benefit from the  current technology
  • Solutions for isolation: Such as virtual reality e-visits, allowing you to see your loved ones remotely 
  • Offshore to local: Shift to procuring devices and equipment locally
  • Simplification and increased efficiency of supply procurement 
  • Changes to the EMR

 

Magic 8-Ball, Which Innovations Will Continue Post-Pandemic?

The pandemic really highlighted some of the healthcare failures we have. COVID-19 showed the world of healthcare that the status quo is not working. It uncovered a need for change that could no longer be denied - it was broken, we just weren't fixing it!

Some of the issues brought to light include long-standing issues with long term care facilities as well as over-crowding in hospitals. A lot of these things won't go back to their previous states. 

With regards to what other changes survive post-pandemic, that will depend on a few factors, such as how long we have to sustain the current level of innovation as well as outcomes measures of these new technologies. 

  1. Duration of innovation: The longer the pandemic persists, the higher the chance that our new habits will become ingrained and we will continue doing things differently post-pandemic. 
  2. Outcomes measures of new technologies: A lot of the changes we are seeing now are solving an immediate need, but we have not been measuring the outcomes of these new technologies because we are just trying to survive. Post-pandemic we will have to measure and analyze these new technologies. We can then keep what's working, and get rid of what is not. 

 

For the Clinic Owners: Can Innovation Procurement Make Your Business Boom? (What Is Innovation Procurement?!)

Let's take a small step away from COVID-19 and discuss procurement, which as we mentioned above was impacted and changed by COVID-19.
If you're a clinic owner, you are pretty familiar with the process of procurement. For those of us who are not: 

Traditional procurement is defined as the purchase of known solutions to meet the needs of an organization. For example, you need 4x4 gauze, you buy it. Done. 

Innovation procurement on the other hand is defined as the purchase of solutions that do not exist in the market or need to be adapted or improved to meet specified needs and create value for users and the procuring organization. 

 

Innovation Procurement Is Creative 

Innovation procurement is open-minded. We tend to go through traditional procurement with a predetermined notion of what the solution will be. But with innovation procurement, the solutions can be as varied and creative as you can possibly imagine. 

Interested in doing innovation procurement for your organization? Listen to Sarah Friesen of Friesen Concepts Inc. explain what are some of the things you need to do in order to accomplish innovation procurement. 

 

Sarah Friesen Talks Innovation Procurement

 

Learn More About Innovation Procurement

 

The Future (of Health Insurance) Is Friendly 

According to Lori Casselman of League, the digital alternative to traditional health insurance, change in the health benefits and the insurance industry would not necessarily come from within these organizations themselves. The industry is highly-governed, risk-averse and is therefore quite resistant to change. 

But that does not mean that change is not coming!

 

Health Benefits Today

Benefits today are experiencing rising costs, poor experience, lack of flexibility, difficulty in submitting claims, and a difficult-to-understand-environment that is not consumer-focused and almost discourages use. 
 

Millennials and Gen Z have much higher expectations from their employers to support them in managing their health. They want more personalization! They want to decide how to spend their plan dollars. So if for example, they want to spend it all on massages or on mindfulness training, they will be able to choose to allocate their plan value there.  

 

Health Benefits Tomorrow 

Less than a decade from now 75% of the workforce will be that generation - millennials and Gen Z. 
Because of this, the future of health benefits will need to be consumer-focused, easy to use, flexible, simpler to understand, as well as provide faster payments on a claim or even digitally process claims at POS thereby eliminating out of pocket payments. 
 
 

Data Security in Healthcare: Are You Ready?

As healthcare moves to the digital world, more data and information will become stored in the cloud. We have all heard of companies having their customer's data such as name, addresses as well as medical conditions and diagnoses being compromised and inappropriately used. And incidents like this are happening more and more often.

According to Mahshid Yassaei of Evenset Inc., the way we look at security and some misconceptions around that can really define how products are shaped. The most common misconception is to take security second to product development, this is like building a boat but trying to make it sink-proof only after it is built. 

 

Actions You Can Take Today to Improve Product Security

We need to rethink how we view security, our goals should not be to meet the bare minimum requirements to keep the regulatory officer happy or to have the client satisfied. Our goal should be to have our product protected from attacks. Changing how we view this will take us a long way. Here are some steps you can follow to keep your data safe: 

 
  1. Educate your team on security: Be explicit about what data you are getting from your customers and why it is important for your organization to take good care of it.

  2. Define checklists and processes: Your team must know what is important so that they can
    follow the best practices. You do not want to depend on the goodwill of your developers. 

  3. Be safe: Use intrusion detection and prevention for your products similar to how credit card companies look for suspicious activity and block it.

 

The Future Is Now: Predictions for a New Healthcare

Here's what's coming and where healthcare is headed according to those keeping an ear to the ground:
 
Healthcare Trends
 
  • A shift from provider-centric to a patient-centric system
  • Empowered patients: The modern patient is more informed and engaged, enabled by technology and taking ownership of their own health
  • Personalized, easy-to-use health insurance
  • Boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds are becoming less clear 
  • An ageing population: By 2034, 1 in 4 Canadians will be over 65, due to this, the focus of healthcare will shift to health promotion, injury prevention and wellness
  • Networked healthcare: Practitioners will work in networks 
  • Bye-bye EMR: EMRs add more work instead of removing it. The future of EMR will likely look more like InputHealth's Collaborative Health Record (CHR)

Healthcare Tech Trends

The future of healthcare will have a strong focus on personal health technology, here are just a few examples of this tech:

  • Google Verily: An anti-ageing company working on creating innovative biomedical devices and more. For example, contact lenses that detect glucose levels so that diabetic patients don't have to prick themselves daily. 
  • Apple HealthKit: Focuses on incorporating all your wearable data, make sense of it, and integrate it with EMR.
  • Arthrex: A state of the art device manufacturer making implants that are biomechanically better than ever before.
  • Therapia: Changing how healthcare is delivered to patients. Holds the belief that the future of healthcare is in the home and are taking small steps to reach the stage where everything can be done at home.
  • Catapult Sports: A system that uses biometric wearable technology that is GPS based. Using the data they collect (an athlete's velocity, acceleration, positioning, and calorie exertion), they analyze who gets injured when and how we can prevent it. For example, they have identified that in soccer, when a striker is sprinting, if the stride length changes compared to the baseline state, that is a factor for a hamstring injury.
  • iHeart: Aortic stiffness is the one parameter that can predict the risk of death from all causes. Previously, measuring aortic stiffness would have to be done on an expensive machine with a trained technician. The iHeart device allows you to do it yourself. 

If you would like to learn more about technology in healthcare, take a look at some of our other online healthcare courses by clicking below.

 

Learn More About Technology in Healthcare with Embodia

 

As practitioners and innovators, we cannot ignore the advances in technology that are disturbing, challenging and empowering a new ‘social collective’ that will change healthcare at its very core.

From data to people, digital health is poised to establish a new society driven less by practitioners but more by the birth of the citizen scientist and the empowered patient. 

Will you be part of the new healthcare?

Subscribe to Our Blog

* indicates required
What kind of emails are you interested in?
© 2021 Embodia