“The role of IT is vital in driving People/Patient centric solutions. The need for interoperability for home health devices and hospital based information systems will drive the next generation of healthcare IT.”
– Phani Bidarahalli, GM & Global Head, Healthcare, WIPRO
The current health system spend is not sustainable and as a result there is a growing need for more effective, value adding healthcare services. In recent years healthcare providers have shifted their focus to become more patient and outcome centric in an attempt to achieve the required value for sustainability. Wipro is a multinational Engineering, IT and System integration services company that has been a key partner to some of the largest healthcare organizations and medical device manufacturers in the world. To understand the role that information technology plays in this push for patient-centricity, I sat down with Phani Bidarahalli, GM & Head, Global Practice, WIPRO, to gather some of his opinions and insights.
Phani predicts that “the next wave of innovation in healthcare will center around precision diagnosis and measurable clinical outcomes.” Clinicians are already striving to incorporate information produced by medical devices into their decision-making processes, and with the growth of big data we will see more and more “researchers collect and harvest data to identify patterns and develop algorithms to narrow down on disease signatures and develop better clinical pathways.”
Cloud based infrastructure is also providing the unique opportunity for healthcare organizations and medical device manufacturers to provide seamless access to data and information regardless of physical location. Emerging markets have been taking advantage of mobile technologies and cloud based infrastructures to provide remote health services to under-served areas that “are extremely challenged in terms of physical proximity to clinicians and hospital infrastructure.” explains Phani. As such cloud based infrastructure “will play [and is already playing] a very important role in providing access to healthcare technology to promote healthier living.”
Another factor driving patient-centric care is the rise of at-home health monitoring and management systems. Phani informed me that, through these at-home technologies, “people are experiencing ‘connected-ness’ in their everyday lives more than ever before,” and “home will form a natural extension of hospitals for patients.” This increased “connected-ness” and proliferation of at-home devices will result in the creation of mass amounts of data outside of the clinical setting that can be used to inform population health and future investments in the health system. Phani notes that “with the increased proliferation of such systems, medical device manufacturers will need re-invent themselves to develop simple, reliable and nimble devices which are easy to use and have high connectivity.”
As big data analytics becomes more widely utilized, the medical device industry will need to adjust and introduce more products “whose competencies are based on big data.” Which will mean that “the traditional device manufacturing firms will have to develop rich data schemes to not only collect data but also aid in decision making.” Phani advises that, in order to survive in this shifting environment, “device manufacturers will need to foster strong strategic partnerships to enhance productivity and invest better in their core competencies.”
Despite the exciting possibilities that these new technologies present, Phani predicts that healthcare providers and device manufacturers will prioritize “security and patient privacy as extremely important.”
To hear more about the integrating patient centricity into device manufacturing, attend the American Medical Device Summit 2015, taking place in Chicago on September 21st -22nd, 2015.