Interoperability, transparency, innovation—three experts share their hopes and predictions for the future of healthcare technology and anticipate the challenges ahead.
Three leaders on the future of healthcare technology
Dr. Karen DeSalvo National coordinator for health information technology and acting assistant secretary for health HHS
The future of health IT is one where electronic health information is securely, yet seamlessly, shared; where electronic health information can be accessed as easily as an app helps you track your bank account; where we can aggregate health data to tell the long-term health story of a person or community; and where data help us reward quality, not just quantity, of care. This future is possible because of the incredible progress we have made over the past six years: We have tripled adoption of EHRs and virtually every hospitalization has a digital footprint. But the public and private sectors have more work to do. We will move to implement federally recognized, national interoperability standards, including around privacy and security; change the culture around information-sharing, including by combating information blocking; and build the business case, so that the movement of electronic data is vital for market success.
Dr. Giovanni Colella Co-founder and CEO Castlight Health
The healthcare system in the U.S. is complex, wasteful and far too expensive, but we are at a fascinating inflection point, and with many new technologies coming online we are hugely optimistic about the future. The convergence of cloud computing and big data will enable greater transparency systemwide, and open up new opportunities to engage patients in preventive treatments and better management of chronic conditions.
It will take time. We are on a journey—a very long journey—but one that is incredibly rewarding. At Castlight, our mission is to radically improve the system by empowering people to make the best choices for their health and to help companies make the most of their health benefits.
Dr. Toby Cosgrove President and CEO Cleveland Clinic
Innovation occurs when one idea crosses into another, disciplines overlap, a product is created and refined, and a problem is solved. This doesn't happen merely by chance. Healthcare organizations must be organized in a way to encourage cross-pollination among specialties.
Which of today's innovative ideas will be game-changers? We can't say for sure, but we know which ones won't be—the promising ideas that are never pursued because no one was willing to take a chance.
Just last month, transplant surgeons used the Cleveland Clinic-created normothermic machine to successfully transplant a “living liver.” Rather than transporting the organ in ice, where damage can occur, the machine managed the organ's temperature, perfused it with blood and maintained its natural processes.
After the surgery, the liver began to function immediately and the patient was discharged eight days later with normal liver function.
That is the power of innovation.
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