Connected Health Conference Shows the Future of Health Care

Last Thursday we wrapped up this year’s Connected Health Conference, held in downtown Bellevue, Wash. It’s where we get together with a few hundred customers, partners, thought leaders from the industry, policy makers -- and talk about the health care industry and the kind of positive change and innovation that’s happening.  I like to think of it as a “community of Innovators.”

We’re seeing real progress.  At last year’s conference, much of what we talked about was still at the beginning stages.  I won’t go so far as to say something similar to what our conference moderator, Ian Morrison, said  -- that the only place where a new vision for the industry seems to be alive is in PowerPoint -- but it was early on. Today, our vision about liberating data and creating a connected health system with patients at the center is becoming a reality, as demonstrated by our customers.   During the conference, we heard about the work taking place at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Golden Living, Medstar Health, Virtua and elsewhere. They are re-engineering workflows, engaging with patients differently, empowering healthcare workers to be more effective, using and re-using data to drive better decision-making.  These folks are building ‘learning organizations’ – able to react and adapt – which will them get more value out of their orgs and more value out of the system as a whole.
My Wednesday keynote focused on just that – driving a health system based upon VALUE versus the system of today which focuses on VOLUME. You can see some of the highlights of my talk in this video.  I shared some perspectives on the system as a whole, on organizations and their path forward to becoming more flexible, empowering, and adaptive and on consumers – and of course how technology could be a tool at all three levels to help drive positive change and enable innovation.

My favorite part of the conference was a panel we had on the topic of how to drive innovation.  The panelists included Todd Park, the CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, David Brailer, the Chairman of Health Evolution Partners, and Rod Hochman, the CEO of Swedish Medical Center.  These folks are all innovators in different ways.  We had a very insightful discussion, with a focus on goals such as removing variability in health care; basing payment and care levels on local, “community standards;” improving incentives for providing the right care at the right price; finding ways to support innovation; and improving communication with patients.

You can see more highlights in this video.

We also had the opportunity to ‘zoom out’ and take a look more broadly at how the field of computer science is advancing.  Our Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Craig Mundie, shared some perspectives on how powerful client machines and the cloud combined with a revolution in how people interact with computers will define a new era of computing.  He provided demonstration of the kind of future that’s possible – you can see it in this video.

I left the conference feeling very energized, excited and inspired!  While sometimes it feels like we are pushing  a rock up hill, I believe we’re on the right path.  This ‘Community of Innovators’ will drive change.

Posted by Peter Neupert
Corporate Vice President, Health Solutions Group

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