Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Intelligent Healthcare Manifesto

The United States is poised for a revolutionary change in how Healthcare is perceived, how it is managed and how it serves us; both as patients and as a society. For many, the only solution to better Healthcare lies entirely in massive amounts of new spending – however a reexamination of the processes underlying Healthcare suggests that money and technology alone can be wasted if not properly orchestrated. The true potential for the next generation of Healthcare provision in this country requires a paradigm shift in perceptions, a recognition of several fundamental truths that when taken together will redefine the practice of medicine in our lifetime.
Truth 1 - Technology has always played a pivotal role in medicine across the ages, yet today technology is much more than an enabler - it is transformative force. Technology is becoming intelligent.

This is not the same as Artificial Intelligence (AI), in the sense that the technology thinks for itself or for us. Rather, the intelligence we're talking about here refers to the ability to combine and contrast information and infuse that data within the day to day practice of medicine and to view medicine as continuum rather than a series of potentially unrelated events or incidents.

Truth 2 – Healthcare is a system of systems. The human body is an integrated mechanism rather than a set of disconnected parts and pieces to be managed in care “stovepipes.” Every element within any given hospital exists symbiotically with every other to form a single, working entity. And every hospital, doctor’s office and clinic forms a symbiotic relationship with every other throughout the nation to comprise our Healthcare infrastructure. Impacts to any portion of this delicate, tiered structure affect every other aspect of Healthcare provision.

Truth 3 – The number one challenge in medicine is now and has always been complexity. Complexity takes its form in the vast wealth of medical knowledge, techniques and tools available to us, as well as in the monumental amount of biological diversity present within each and every human body. Defeating complexity requires the ability to adapt rapidly to changing paradigms and situations – institutions too rooted in tradition often loose opportunities to excel and overcome previously insurmountable challenges.

Truth 4 – The time spent outside of the healthcare system is just as important or perhaps even more important than time spent within it. Quality of care outcomes do not begin or end based upon treatment events – they are the result of a continuum care that lasts a lifetime.

Truth 5 – When comprehensive Healthcare isn’t provided to all, all are placed at risk. This imbalance costs more than having paid for everyone’s care as it throws the entire system into havoc and introduces an element of chaos that cannot be properly mitigated. All care may not be equal, but there are standards for adequate care that can be followed as a public health safeguard that can and will improve our current situation.
The potential that is nearly upon us is staggering - we are close to being able to position all medical knowledge at any practitioner's fingertips and provide it to them in such a way that allows for efficient contextualization, per patient and per scenario. Intelligent Healthcare is a responsive interactive process - a dynamic collaboration between caregivers from across the globe and between individual caregivers and patients.

Intelligent Healthcare is Patient-Centric

Intelligent Healthcare recognizes that healthcare quality and the ability to de-conflict knowledge are intricately intertwined. As the nation stands ready to reexamine its Healthcare policies, we have an opportunity to extend that exploration beyond considerations of access, affordability and insurance coverage options to a core examination of the processes of Healthcare itself.

We don’t need more money, more equipment more prescription drugs, more genetic testing per se, what we need first is the ability to correlate the capabilities and knowledge we’ve already attained, and a way to provide generic care options to all – doing that would provide us with a phenomenal increase in efficiency and quality of care in the very near future.

Copyright 2012  - Technovation Talks, Semantech Inc.


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