Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 15, 2013

How Tech Innovation Will Transform the Future of Healthcare

It’s beginning to look as if the future of healthcare is here.

Well, almost.

In the healthcare industry, technology and legislation are poised to collide. Legislation, such as the Affordable Care Act, is changing the way providers treat their patients. Meanwhile, technology including mobile devices, social software and big data-driven apps that revolutionize business and consumer lifestyles are now filtering into healthcare.

What does this mean for the healthcare industry? While no one knows for certain, when technology and policy finally do collide, it will have a significant impact on the future of healthcare.  

A Look Ahead

We know that healthcare must move towards an outcomes-based reimbursement model that is based on objective outcomes of patient improvement. We know a less fragmented system focused on primary care is needed, with improved inter-clinician communication and accountability shared by patient and physician.  

We know that healthcare must change, and the change is coming from innovators and risk takers who are pioneering the new age of American healthcare. Tech companies will help to solve fundamental problems in healthcare and make strides in innovation. With tech innovation, we’ll have a healthcare system that is less fragmented, highly analytical and centers on outcomes, not volume of patients or procedures.

The question is no longer if, but rather when will this be the future of healthcare. For innovators who understand the barriers, roadblocks and gatekeepers that are unique to the business of healthcare, opportunities abound.

Promising startups are already overcoming the hurdles of investment, regulatory clearance and even profitability in the healthcare sector.

Focus on the Potential for Sustainable Growth

The problem with trying to predict widespread adoption of innovative technology advancements before they actually occur is the risk of creating the illusion of a market ready to materialize in the exact time and way we envision.

The development of unsustainable business models that fit a vision for the future, but poorly fit into the current system, will be subjected to the inevitability of delayed progress, only to fight a battle of attrition, forever waiting for the arrival of a hypothesized market. For that reason, the future of healthcare should not be examined through the eyes of idealistic innovation, but instead through pragmatism and sustainable revenue models that work now, and are also strategically positioned to flourish in the future.  

A focus should be placed on reimbursement potential within the current ‘fee for service model’ to drive the adoption needed for sustainable growth. As a society, we can reduce costs by providing less expensive, more mobile and more connected systems, as well as provide unique selling points and incentives that work in favor of the provider in today’s system.  

We must also spend less time complaining about regulatory oversight and more time developing quality control systems that work in our favor. This means proper documentation and efficient processes that can only improve operations. Although instruction on how mobile health will be regulated from the FDA may continue to be delayed, it will never remove the necessity of quality assurance.

The Future of Healthcare

Healthcare will be shaped by the thoughtful and diligent companies who focus on implementation into the current healthcare system, through the current regulatory environment and the current reimbursement structure. Success will depend on a carefully crafted vision of acute sustainability with the flexibility to transition into a new model.

The future vision of healthcare is indeed on the way to becoming a reality. It just may take longer than we expect.

Chase Curtiss is an innovative healthcare entrepreneur and clinical exercise physiologist with internationally published research in biomechanics and human performance. Chase currently serves as the CEO and Founder of Sway Medical, a mobile health startup with an FDA-cleared platform changing the way healthcare professionals monitor conditions that alter balance. Follow him on Twitter (News - Alert) @SwayMedical

Edited by Alisen Downey
By TMCnet Special Guest
Chase Curtiss, Founder & CEO, Sway Medical ,

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