4 Healthcare IT Lessons From Dreamforce 2014 - InformationWeek

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IoT
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Healthcare // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
10/15/2014
11:10 AM
Susan Nunziata
Susan Nunziata
Commentary
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4 Healthcare IT Lessons From Dreamforce 2014

Healthcare providers, medical device manufacturers, and data analytics firms explore innovative ways to engage patients.

25 Years Of Health IT: A Complicated Journey
25 Years Of Health IT:
A Complicated Journey
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

You'd be hard-pressed to find a healthcare organization today that is not experiencing some level of digital disruption. Patients are more tech-savvy than ever. They're looking for healthcare organizations to provide services that are as simple to use as online shopping sites. Meanwhile, healthcare organizations are facing competition from startups that are shaking up the status quo. And there's a movement afoot to shift the entire healthcare system from one that is focused on acute care to one that is marked by a continuity of personalized care.

These and other topics were discussed in a series of healthcare-related sessions Monday and Tuesday during Salesforce's Dreamforce 2014 conference in San Francisco. Healthcare providers, medical device manufacturers, data analytics firms, and research analysts shared their perspectives and real-world experiences at the forefront of an industry in flux. Taken separately, their efforts reflect the piecemeal pace at which the healthcare industry is being transformed. Looked at collectively, these four highlights represent innovative efforts that give us a glimpse of where healthcare IT is headed in the near future.

1. Big Bang disruption is headed your way.
This is a model of industry transformation put forth by Accenture analyst Brian Kalis. He explained the concept like so: New players enter a market with products or services that are simultaneously better, cheaper, and more customized than those offered by incumbent companies.

[Are hospitals obsolete? Read Who Will Be The Netflix Of Healthcare?]

The Big Bang disruption model is driven by key technologies that Kalis said offer rapid improvements in price and platforms: mobility, cloud, analytics, genomics, and imaging. These technologies are empowering consumers in unprecedented ways, and healthcare is failing to meet the expectations of its consumers, according to Kalis: "Healthcare consumers expect seamless retail-like experiences but are currently underserved by the health industry. Big Bang disruptors are emerging to meet unmet needs."

(Source: jfcherry)
(Source: jfcherry)

Kalis cited Oscar Health as an example of a Big Bang disruptor. The New York City-based health insurance service has signed up 17,000 members in its first year, primarily by putting the user experience first, according to Kalis. Oscar links with existing insurance providers, and its key differentiator is in the user interface it's created that makes customer interactions as seamless as possible.

So what can incumbents do to avoid being usurped by Big Bang disruptors in healthcare? Kalis recommends that healthcare IT leaders build new systems from the ground up with a modern technology stack that incorporates mobile, social, analytics, and the cloud, and focus first on the customer experience above all else.

2. Build a health relationship platform.
Multiple healthcare and life science executives repeated this refrain, emphasizing the need to find and treat patients before they reach

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Susan Nunziata leads the site's content team and contributors to guide topics, direct strategies, and pursue new ideas, all in the interest of sharing practicable insights with our community.Nunziata was most recently Director of Editorial for EnterpriseEfficiency.com, a UBM ... View Full Bio
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
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10/15/2014 | 4:13:07 PM
Re: Do you want to join a healthcare community?
This seems really variable. Someone with breast cancer might jump at the chance to join a support group, especially if there is localization and an option to get to know others in the community with the same challenge. Breast cancer doesn't carry a social stigma. However, the same may not be so of AIDS or type II diabetes, where someone might fear being judged if their personal information was made public. Plus, some people are just very private.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
10/15/2014 | 3:27:56 PM
Do you want to join a healthcare community?
The concept of communities built around healthcare needs -- generally around specific ailments -- is something that is being talked up a great deal here at Dreamforce. On the one hand, I can see the value of this, particularly when it comes to celebrating achievements for those with chronic conditions and helping to inspire others who may be struggling.

At the same time, on a personal level, I find myself questioning whether I'd want to join an open community related to such a deeply personal, private topic as my health. What do you think? Beyond health&fitness apps, are you a member of any kind of healthcare community? Would you want to be? 
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