The future of medicine may well lie in smart, integrated healthcare delivered through the cloud, says Dr Jeffrey Tobias, managing director of The Strategy Group.
“We’re living in a connected world. We’ve embraced mobility,” Tobias says, citing the typical railway platform where everyone is head-down, engrossed in their mobile device.
For Tobias, the issue is how healthcare leaders can fully embrace that pervasive mobility. “How do we breathe it?” he asks, framing the current system as staid – in need of a reboot.
Traditional modes of healthcare delivery are such that providers, such as GPs and hospitals, controlled the provision of services. The rise of the connected consumer, who is empowered by technology, has radically altered this chain, Tobias adds.
“Clients are now saying, ‘I am more informed than I ever was. It is my body. It is my life. It is my experience, so I want to move to a world where I am more empowered, I am connected – I feel that I can make a choice.’”
Care should therefore be proactive and broad, Tobias says. In his view, healthcare recipients spurred to dream big by modern solutions like telemedicine need a range of smart services which transcend borders: A “precinct” of sorts.
Enabled by improved, agile technology, the radical space he envisages is taking shape, according to Tanya Felton, national general manager of Health Industry Development at Telstra.
“In the last two years, there’s been significant disruption, rapid change across the whole sector,” says Felton, who spearheads a project called Silver Lining, run by Telstra together with healthcare provider Calvary.
By assessing integrated care across the sector, Telstra and Calvary have made some striking findings. “Some of the value that we uncovered was the ability to really link those care providers. To give them the tools that allowed them to see information in context wherever they were,” she says.
For instance, Felton cites how putting smart tools in the hands of paramedics enables them to access information about medications the patient may be using and connect with the triage nurse who can then deliver highly personalised care to a patient in the process of being transported.
“Clients are now saying, ‘I am more informed than I ever was. It is my body. It is my life. It is my experience, so I want to move to a world where I am more empowered, I am connected – I feel that I can make a choice.’”Dr Jeffrey Tobias, Managing Director, The Strategy Group
Over the next 12-18 months, integrated healthcare tools, which put data at caregivers’ fingertips, will be adopted much more rapidly, Felton predicts. “Mobility is not innovation. It’s expected,” she says.
Technological innovations, especially around the internet of things, will play a key role, yielding far more oversight, Felton adds. With increased monitoring of hitherto overworked clinicians, and even appliances, clients are promised another layer of transformation.
“All of that information will be collected, analytics applied to that, and outcomes derived,” Felton says. “So it will definitely change the way that healthcare’s delivered, and it will be change for the better.”
Dr Jeffrey Tobias, managing director, The Strategy Group Tanya Felton, national general manager, Health Industry Development, Telstra
Jeffrey: Innovation and entrepreneurial thinking is about the collision of ideas but also taking those ideas to execution. The challenge for us should be let’s think about some alternative models, let’s think about what connectivity can do.
Tanya: Information driving evidence based delivery of health services is the norm.
Jeffrey: Where we’ve got connectedness around medical health records, around wellness.
Tanya: The Internet of Things will really change the way that healthcare is delivered. and it will be change for the better.
Jeffrey: To enable a connected world where the individual feels much more empowered.
Tanya: We’re now seeing doctors and nurses driving the adoption of technology. They expect to use technology in the way that they deliver care. They expect information to be available and make evidence-based decisions.
Jeffrey: How do we provide an environment for the consumer given the fact that we’re now talking about empowered, connected consumers where the power has shifted from the organisation to the consumer?
Tanya: We are seeing a move from the smart hospital to the connected precinct, and that’s bringing in acute care facilities – public and private, diagnostic organisations, academic and research organisations, and creating that commercial hub where innovation is a by-product of the interactions across that whole organisation.
Jeffrey: It’s about the smart healthcare precinct providing me a sense of wellness in a proactive way that is tailored to me, to my body, to my ecosystem.
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Join Tanya Felton (Health Industry Executive, Telstra) Dr Norman Swan and Terry Kearney (CEO of Springfield Health and Education) to discuss how investment in Smart, Connected Health Precincts will use advanced technologies to streamline complex health services and place the patient at the centre of service delivery.Find Out More