October 7, 2019
RAPID RESPONSE: Axios addresses why healthcare has lots of technology, little change
Axios reporters Kaveh Waddell and Bob Herman point to a growing disconnect between “traditional” healthcare players and upstart medtech/healthtech companies in “Medtech’s Quick-Fix Addiction.”:
“There’s frequently a chasm between can-do engineers itching to rethink health care and the deliberate doctors and nurses leery of tech that can make their lives more complicated, or worse, harm their patients.”
“Healthcare moves slowly because lives are on the line – mess up and people die. As a result, innovation in that context will be more incremental and much slower, if changes are defined as ‘innovation’ at all.”
The result? Entrepreneurs and healthcare execs talking past each other, pointing fingers, further muddying the already murky waters of our industry.
Here’s a revolutionary idea: Talk TO each other, not AT each other.
As Waddell and Herman point out, these entrepreneurs must sit down for prolonged, detailed conversations with individuals affected by their work – often, doctors and nurses – to discover the pain points, design for the end-user, etc.
This process is what we at Jarrard Inc. refer to as the Art of Change. It’s a powerful blend of psychology, behavioral analysis, empathy, design thinking, engineering, research and data analytics.
But really, it’s just keeping your mouth shut for a few minutes and learning about what people need. Then – and only then – figuring out what you can do to help. We can’t be putting the cart (technology) before the horse (patient care).
“Technology alone isn’t going to fix healthcare,” wrote Molly Cate, a Jarrard Inc. founding partner in a column this Spring. “People – more precisely people who understand how and why people change – are. This is an art, and it’s what’s missing from the transformation our industry so desperately needs.”
As one source in the Axios post put it:
“The firms that will resonate likely will be designed by or have direct feedback from the doctors, nurses and technicians who will use the technology but were trained to think of patients first.”
And just imagine: A nice byproduct of those firms succeeding might actually be better patient care.