<![CDATA[The demand for providing quality care at healthcare facilities is at a high, but there is a dramatic gap between the demand, and the number of doctors and nurses, who form the supply. As such, several governments around the world have started shifting their focus to healthcare innovation which will provide new ways to deliver and pay for healthcare services across the globe.
Why do we Need Healthcare Innovation?
Healthcare innovation has been adjudged by many, as the future of the healthcare industry. They manifold benefits it offers patients as well as providers include, but are not limited to:
Reduced Healthcare Costs
Healthcare innovation can reduce healthcare costs substantially across several paradigms. It allows for the delivery of high quality care at significantly lower costs while improving access to healthcare services significantly as well.
For instance, a telephone based healthcare triage service in Mexico allows individuals to gain quick access to healthcare services at just $5 a month. The use of a remote monitoring system in New York City has reduced hospital admissions for chronic diseases by at least 40%.
Closer to Home Healthcare
Healthcare innovation allows providers to offer healthcare services closer to the homes of the concerned patients. This allows the latter to experience a better quality care for the same, if not lower prices at the comfort of their own home.
Reinventing Delivery with Existing Technology
Healthcare innovation can work with existing technology like mobile phone systems and call centers etc. to provide services in even those areas of the world where healthcare resources are scarce. It allows providers to extend their reach of health care delivery in addition to improving labor productivity and increasing the standardization of care across the globe.
Standardized Operating Procedures
Innovation in healthcare can lead to standardized operating procedures that can, in turn, reduce waste while maximizing the utilization of assets and labor. Use of standardized procedures and protocols across different levels also increases the quality of healthcare meted out to the patient.
3 Important Barriers to Healthcare Innovation
In spite of its potential benefits, healthcare innovation still faces rigid barriers which hinder its progress. Some of these include:
- Limited Access to Medical Efficacy
Healthcare innovations need to work over current healthcare standards in order to improve the quality of care without increasing the costs or harming the patient in any way. The problem lies in gaining access to medical professionals who have the necessary expertise to determine medical efficacy. While this data may not be available house, gaining access to it from outside sources can also prove to be quite expensive.
- Complex Product Distribution Woes
Healthcare products have a more complicated supple chain involving multiple device manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, providers, physicians and the end patient. Breaking into this complex chain with innovation can truly be a daunting task, a factor that makes potential investors of healthcare innovation step back.
- Risk Averse Healthcare Culture
The healthcare industry has for the most part, been risk averse. Most of its practitioners are so used to following standard procedures and protocols that asking them to take a potential risk by opting for innovation would be next to impossible. Most of the industry’s workers are pressed for time as well and hardly have any time to try something new other than what they already know.
These barriers and many more like these threaten to stop healthcare innovation in its tracks. It is only with the joint efforts of the providers, practitioners and patients would health care innovation be able to grow and bear fruit.
Healthcare innovation is growing by leaps and bounds. It has all the possibilities to change the entire face of the healthcare industry for the better. However, the manifold barriers that lie in the way will first need to be crossed in order to attain this change.]]>