The healthcare industry has been battling inefficiency and everyday administrative burden because they can play a major role in halting workflows and negatively impacting patient care. However, organizations across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are using technological solutions to declutter healthcare, stimulate innovation, and inspire the next generation of healthcare disrupters.
On Thursday November 21st, MassChallenge HealthTech and the Brigham & Women’s Digital Innovation Hub (iHub) brought together clinicians, developers, and experts across the Boston community to create an open environment to discuss decluttering the healthcare experience and ways clinicians and developers can make an impact together.
The event kicked off with 3 case studies from health tech startups Redox, TORq Interface, and Knot, followed by a panel moderated by Santosh Mohan of the Brigham iHub team. The event also included a dynamic keynote featuring Jeff Greenberg of Wellesley, Mass.-based Firefly Health.
INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS IS COMPLEX
Speakers had the opportunity to highlight various perspectives on the ways they use technology to declutter the healthcare experience. Although users had their own unique experience with EMR or technological solutions, they all shared frustration around the complexity of integrating these solutions.
“Every EMR speaks its own language, so when Redox thinks about implementations, each one is very different.” stated Sarah Bottjen, Account Executive at Redox. “Even if every EMR looks only a little different, they all use different methodologies. One big thing to keep in mind, is the importance of understanding what is critical from a data perspective to each user whether you are a clinical user or developer.”
During his keynote, Jeff Greenberg of Firefly Health shared his thoughts on how healthcare’s approach to delivering care hasn’t changed, but how we have the power to create this impact.
“The industry overall is taking its time and waiting for digital tech to integrate into healthcare,” said Greenberg. “However, as an industry, we should be pushing the boundaries to change how we deliver care through integrations.”
Greenberg also mentioned the importance of prioritizing communication across all users.
“Workflow and communication should be in the center of care delivery, not an emphasis on an EMR.”
COLLABORATION AMONGST ALL END USERS WILL IMPROVE THE WORKFLOW EXPERIENCE
Joanna Geisinger, CEO of TORq Interface, shared her stories around successful partnerships with Beth Israel Lahey Health and Brigham & Women’s health systems. She said that these partnerships were possible because she was able to grasp an understanding of the challenges of each end user.
“Workflow within healthcare is complex and you can never predict what the ideal workflow is. Therefore, it is important to talk to everyone the solution impacts and understand the incentives and goals,” stated Geisinger.
Dr. Greenberg ended his keynote with a powerful message that technology alone won’t drive change.
“Disruptive technology requires disruptive healthcare,” said Dr. Greenberg. “The two are necessary in order to see a greater impact. However, it requires collaboration and buy-in for change to occur.”
Dr. Kyle Wu of Knot emphasized the need to gather support and collaboration in order to generate an impact.
“If you want to see the change, you need to find a community to support you with your goals as well as theirs,” Wu said.
OTHER MASSACHUSETTS PROGRAMS THAT ARE DRIVING CHANGE
Events like the one at Brigham and Women’s Hospital are happening throughout the year in Massachusetts, as are other programs to drive change. Another example is the recent announcement of the Digital Health Sandbox program, where startups are given the opportunity to pilot and validate their products within a test environment with financial support provided by the state.