The “Googley” View of Health Innovation and Policy

philosophyImage  Watching a great presentation on How Google Works by executive Eric Schmidt made me long for a similar consideration of how healthcare policy and practice could change if it followed Google’s innovation model: gather smart, passionate people and empower them to work in small teams, dream BIG and experiment.

We see so much innovation going on in the health marketplace, but often it’s more about marketing than proof of impact. Tech innovation aimed at building better processes is a good thing, but what about the impact on health and quality of life?  Policymakers have the ability and responsibility to clarify the priorities and guide the expected outcomes which product innovation can help achieve.

Meanwhile, policy dialogue is mired in identifying a “one right way” to address access, quality and cost.  Policymakers would do well to take a look at where innovation investment is heading – personal interaction, wellness and non-traditional medical delivery models, engagement of patients and families in care, and a focus on whole health care. Policy (and not just grant funding/venture capital) needs to support that.

What if the “smart creatives” in both the practice innovation and policy arenas worked their magic in healthcare? Here’s the impact I can imagine…

  • Individuals receive whole-health focused healthcare – head to toe, health and non-health factors, in the context of their life and cultural realities.
  • Rapid diagnostics communicate data to the bedside and patients and family/caregivers can see real time tests, results, diagnoses, medications and personnel with whom they can communicate at any time.
  • Telecomm and health companies partner to facilitate telemedicine and real-time care coordination that guides patients and families toward best healthcare resources.
  • Dashboards let consumers see wait times, bed capacity, types of surgeries, error rates, and hospital infection statistics to evaluate best healthcare setting.
  • One EHR system exists with ability to conduct surveillance for disease, outbreaks and key quality indicators open to all actors in the health system – including patients (BIG, big data).
  • Apps are available to all that conduct personal assessments every day – weight, blood pressure, hours of rest, mental status, etc. that are uploaded to the EHR and alerted to caregivers.

What are your “Googley” ideas for better healthcare?

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