Healthcare innovation in 2023: going back to basics
The COVID-19 pandemic created never-before-seen challenges for the healthcare industry that have proven to be “the new normal.” However, the ripple effects of this cataclysmic, planetary disruption also created new opportunities for innovation and transformation. Now, healthcare innovators are finding new ways of adapting to the changing landscape and delivering value to patients, providers, and payers.
One of the key trends that emerged during the crisis was the shift to digital care, which enabled more convenient, accessible, and affordable healthcare services. According to a report by Berkeley Business Review, many healthcare startups are leveraging technology to address consumer needs, such as telehealth, remote monitoring, online pharmacy, mental health, and wellness. These startups are not only disrupting traditional models of care delivery, but also creating new revenue streams and cost savings for the industry. These shifts are also helping offset one of the worst side effects of the pandemic: workforce burnout and staff shortages.
Another trend that is driving healthcare innovation is the recognition of the economic impact that innovation can have on society. A study by Washington State Department of Commerce and Cambia Grove found that healthcare innovation contributed $6.8 billion to Washington’s economy in 2014, supporting more than 22,000 jobs and generating $164 million in state tax revenue. The study also highlighted the potential for further growth and collaboration among different stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem.
As Harvard Business Review points out, healthcare innovation faces many barriers, such as regulatory complexity, misaligned incentives, entrenched interests, cultural resistance, and ethical dilemmas. To overcome these obstacles, innovators need to adopt a holistic approach that considers not only technical feasibility but also market viability and social desirability. Innovators must look at the “big picture” when they start thinking “outside the box.”
One way to achieve this is by following the eight essentials of innovation proposed by McKinsey & Company, which include: aspire (set bold goals), choose (prioritize opportunities), discover (generate insights), evolve (test and learn), accelerate (launch rapidly), scale (grow big), extend (leverage partnerships), and mobilize (build capabilities). These principles can help innovators navigate uncertainty and complexity while creating value for all stakeholders.
At the end of the day, healthcare innovation remains a vital force for improving health outcomes and economic prosperity in tough times. By embracing digital care solutions, leveraging economic impact data, and applying best practices of innovation, healthcare innovators can thrive in the post-pandemic era.
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Building on extensive experience in the fields of journalism, media production, and learning design and development, John Marc Green’s newest adventure is serving as Director of CHIME Innovation. In this role, his ongoing conversations with CHIME Members and Partners provide insights and direction to serve their interests in a variety of ways, including digital healthcare innovation journalism, professional development events and program facilitation, and on-demand educational development through CHIME Innovation.