There is one thing we know for sure when it comes to healthcare: there will always be a high demand for it. People get sick. Injuries happen on a daily basis. However, the biggest demand for healthcare comes from the growing group of elders. Both the healthcare institutions and governments struggle to follow the high demands. The need for innovation is big.
The Importance of Innovation
Innovation is important for various reasons. The most important one being the improvement of healthcare. Innovation can also lower the costs of the rising demand for healthcare. It makes sure everyone gets the care they need. And at last, it improves communication. Not only between doctors and their patients, but also between healthcare professionals and hospital management.
The importance of innovation is something many Smart Health startups understand as well. They are here for the change we desire. Healthcare as we know it now will drastically change. These are four trends that will empower the change in healthcare:
- Mobile technology – this tiny device we carry around daily has as many capabilities as a desktop computer, but it fits better in your pocket. So why don’t our healthcare professionals use theirs for their work?
- Cloud storage – storing patients’ data in a cloud service is great. Cloud storage it’s always accessible and less prone to hardware failure.
- Personalization – patients know how to do their own research. The Internet contains a lot of information about every disease imaginable. With wearables and apps they have the ability to watch their own health. These patients want a voice in their healthcare process and share their own discoveries.
- Big Data – we produce a lot of data every day. Sorting out this data can be beneficial for research and management.
Obstacles on the Road to Innovation
There are two big factors in healthcare that hinder the need for innovation – privacy and data security. Data from healthcare institutions often contains sensitive personal information. This information should not be accessible for external parties. Developments have to be completely safe for data transmissions. Otherwise healthcare institutions won’t take the risk by trying the product.
Another obstacle that is in the way of innovation is the lack of the needed technology in healthcare institutions. Healthcare, especially hospitals, lag a bit behind when it comes to this matter. Communication still happens the old-fashioned way. Transferring patient files often happens per post. Hospitals are actually one of the few places where we still find faxing machines.
All factors come down to one thing: doing good research is necessary. Startups have to determine whether their idea is secure for sensitive information and works for their target group. Governments can also hand out a helping hand here. They can help healthcare institutions with upgrading their technologies.
Collaboration is Vital
To achieve innovation within healthcare, both private and public parties have to work together. This collaboration is good for two reasons: the implementation of new technology and solving complex issues with input from various disciplines.
The collaboration is not easy, especially for the companies. Healthcare is difficult to fathom. The culture healthcare has is entirely different from the company culture. Financial challenges are also present. Implementing the newest technologies costs money. It has happened many times that especially smaller businesses fail to contribute to innovation. This is mostly because the costs are too high for them to realize.
But if a collaboration succeeds, both the company and healthcare facility benefit. They both have contributed their social responsibility of innovation in healthcare. Both parties also experienced each other’s culture and expertise, which contributes to new insights.
Are you a startup making a business out of Smart Health and are you ready for the next step with your startup? Then join the experience and apply for our Smart City & Living program!
This blogpost is part of a series about the Startupbootcamp Smart City & Living verticals. Read the first part about the Internet of Things here.