I’m onsite in Vienna, VA for two days attending the World Healthcare Innovation and Technology (WHIT) conference and thought I would share some highlights of the first day with our readers.
Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Services, kicked off the event, giving a fantastic, animated and passionate keynote on a confluence of market and health policy forces that have created an extraordinary environment for health innovation. I especially like his insightful remarks on how information liberation – new initiatives allowing patients to download and transfer their own data – is creating especially significant opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Vivian Funkhouser, principle of Health IT at Motorola, spoke about issues around managing the exploding number of devices to use in acute care settings. Her talk focused on the need to create scalable wireless infrastructures and multiple use devices.
Expanding on this topic, Brian Wells, an Associate Chief Information Officer for the University of Pennsylvania Health System talked about mobile device adoption within the health system and what they are doing to support the iPad is the device of choice. He asserted their users are overwhelmingly wanting iOS enabled applications – in fact, not one person has come to him to ask why applications were not being supported on Android or RIM devices. Brian also found that support issues for the iPad applications they have deployed are extremely low – iPad users generated .05 calls per user over 6 months. However, getting wider adoption of the devices is not without it’s challenges – one of the biggest issues he is facing is that their system just spent millions of dollars to put PCs in patient rooms for the physicians to use. So, it is still an uphill fit to convince leadership to purchase and deploy more mobile devices like the iPad. If he had it his way, Brian stated he would replace all the COWS (computers on wheels) with iPads!
In the afternoon, Will Yu, Special Assistant of Innovations and Research Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) spoke on how now is the best time to innovate in healthcare, as the market and incentives are aligned. He elaborated on how his office is attempting to create the ecosystem for their programs to be coordinated with healthcare innovator’s efforts, outlining their innovation framework which is based on communication, collaboration and support.
Closing the day with a well presented keynote, Paul Grundy, MD, the Global Director of Healthcare Transformation, IBM, spoke on new delivery models to drive down costs and improve care, focusing primarily on giving a very compelling argument for the Primary Care Medical Home model. He had perhaps one of the best and shortest definitions for a PCMH I have heard to date:
“A relationship based team with a project manager.”
One of the more poignant remarks he made to show how bad our current state of medical care coordination was that his cat is in a care registry so that no vaccinations missed, but his wife has to remember to get her own mammograms scheduled.
I’d be interested to hear your feedback on that last remark in the comments section.
That’s it for today – please check back tomorrow when I’ll report on some of the highlights for day two. –Peter Eggleston, Chief Marketing Officer SBR Health Inc.