Technology-enabled Healthcare

Zayna Khayat, Director of MaRS Excite, spoke recently about the Future of Health. Here is a video of the speech:

She spoke of some fundamental changes that are occurring in healtcare. These changes include:

  • Providing highly-individualized care that is personalized to each patient’s individual needs.
  • De-physicalized delivery model, where care does not need to be rendered centralized institutions.
  • Moving from a physician-focused to a de-intermediated decision making process.
  • Recipients of care being empowered to partake in the decision-making process
  • Proactive delivery of care through early detection and prevention
  • Moving from a transactional to a value-based economy

We believe that most of these changes are brought forth due to two key changes in the market. The first of which is caused by the greater access to health information and associated knowledge base. This has enabled the recipients of care (and those who are involved with the recipient) to become better informed of the available options and possible complications. This allows for greater participation in the decision-making process.

The other is a change in demographics in those who are involved with this decision-making process. As the younger demographic is becoming more engaged in the rendering of care, this generation who have been raised in a collaborative economy will expect the same when making decisions on his/her own treatment or that of their loved ones. This drives a further demand for access to health information and in participation.

It is our opinion that these two changes are the key drivers to the six shifts that Khayat has identified. We view that these underlying changes are positive in the field of healthcare, where the recipients are no longer passive participants in the relationship. Empowering the patients will help providers make better decisions that take into account the patient’s needs and values. It will also drive greater accountability in the system.

We believe that these are exciting times in the field of health care. There will be fundamental changes that affect not long the front-line care workers but also the supporting teams (labs, diagnostics, etc.) and the back offices (facilities, IT, finance). Our experience in working with health care organizations can help to navigate these changes and to chart a course for better health care through the enablement of technology.