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Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Top 10 Healthcare Trends in Australia in 2019

 9th April 2019 by gihan

  1. By 2050, a quarter of the population will be aged 60+ everywhere except Africa (EY)
  2. AI uses patient data to improve clinical decision-making and personalise care (World Economic Forum)
  3. Wearable and portable devices empower patients to self-manage their care (Deloitte)
  4. The always-connected patient changes how healthcare providers engage with consumers (KPMG)
  5. Australian consumers want more options for interacting online with healthcare providers (EY)
  6. 75% of providers recognise the need for culture change and workforce optimisation (Australian Health Week)
  7. VR and AR technology present new opportunities for training and surgical simulation (World Economic Forum)
  8. New technology shifts the location of medical care from hospitals to the home (Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions)
  9. Recent Private Health Insurance reforms are a good start, but need more commitment (PwC)
  10. Digitisation of the healthcare system requires big investments in infrastructure, IT, and new processes (Deloitte)

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Understand the Future Customer Journey

 14th March 2019 by gihan

A few weeks ago, I was in Brisbane speaking to the CEOs of private hospitals in Queensland about the future of healthcare. These are smart, savvy, experienced people who know healthcare is changing, know they need to change as well, but don’t know exactly what to do.

But I know some of them were taken aback when I said:

“The future of healthcare is not in hospitals.”

Even if you’re open to change (and these CEOs are), that’s still a confronting statement if most of your role involves building and leading a successful hospital!

Next week, I’ll be saying something similar to leaders at a banking conference:

“The future of banking is not in banks.”

But I firmly believe it’s true!

The future of healthcare is not in hospitals.
And the future of banking is not in banks.
Just as the future of education is not in schools.
And the future of retail is not in shops.

To understand the future of healthcare, banking, education, or retail, don’t start with hospitals, banks, schools, and shops. Those are just the way those industries served their industries in the past. The future might include them, but not necessarily.

The future of healthcare is in patients.
The future of banking is in customers.
The future of education is in students.
The future of retail is in shoppers.

In other words, the future is understanding the people you serve: patients, customers, students, clients, shoppers, whoever.

It’s too easy to fall in love with your products, services, systems, processes, and solutions. But remember these should all be solving problems for your customers. If they aren’t, you’ll soon be obsolete.

Understand your future customer’s journey.

You don’t know exactly how customers will behave in the future, but you can map your current customer’s journey, and then consider the impact of technology, trends, and other external changes at each step.

Here’s the healthcare example I shared with those CEOs …

Imagine a cardiologist who treats patients who suffer a heart attack. Her customer’s journey might start (literally) from the time the ambulance receives the emergency call and rushes the patient to the emergency room. She then performs the surgery, the patient leaves hospital, and constant monitoring happens over time.

Imagine how this customer journey might change in the future:

  • A self-driving ambulance collects the patient. Because all traffic is self-driving, other vehicles automatically stop to let the emergency vehicle through.
  • The patient’s wearables transmit data wirelessly to artificial intelligence software that combines this data from that of thousands of other patients to make a diagnosis.
  • A 3D printer in the ambulance prints a stent for the operation, customised for this patient.
  • Medical supplies are delivered by an autonomous drone, so the hospital doesn’t have to store and manage inventory.
  • After surgery, the patient uses an ECG app on their phone to take regular ECGs, which alert the cardiologist to any potential problems.

All this technology exists now, even if it’s not connected in this way – yet.

A forward-thinking cardiologist, hospital CEO, and anybody else involved in the current version of this journey would consider the impact of these technologies on their “customer’s” journey. Even if some of them are further away than others, they are worth including in the mix now, and then deciding whether you need to address them immediately.

This exercise doesn’t guarantee you will fully anticipate everything in the future customer’s journey, but it’s a good start.

Thinking Ahead

Ask these three questions to help you get fit for the future:

  1. Are you already mapping your customer’s journey, so you can identify how to enhance their experience?
  2. What new technology or trends could have a significant impact on the steps in your future customer’s journey?
  3. What seemingly-impossible things could so radically transform the customer’s journey that they could make you, your organisation, or your industry obsolete?

Create Experiences, Not Just Products and Services

 17th April 2018 by gihan

I was speaking at an aged care leadership conference about the challenge of increasing competition and client choice. The aged care industry is growing, because of our ageing population, but this also creates more competition and choice for clients. This is true in many industries, and it’s no longer good enough to just provide products and services. To be truly fit for the future, focus on creating compelling experiences your customers and clients can’t get anywhere else.

The Future of Medicine – It’s the Patient … err, Customer

 8th January 2018 by gihan

Last year, my parents moved house after 40 years. When searching for a new local GP, my 80-year-old father’s first source of information was online reviews he found on Google. Although he’s intelligent and computer-savvy, he’s hardly the stereotype of the typical social-media-obsessed Internet user. And yet even he knew – and used – the power of the tools at his fingertips.

The last few years have seen dramatic changes in healthcare technology – such as 3-D printed organs, smartphone ECG devices, predictive analytics and Big Data, and nanotechnology robotic surgery. But the biggest change in healthcare is the profoundly different relationship between patients and providers.

It’s become a cliché to say healthcare is becoming like a business and patients are acting more like customers. And yet, many healthcare providers don’t understand this profound change in their profession.

Siemens highlighted this in their “Picture the Future” report about healthcare in Australia in 2020: We’re changing focus from cure to prevention, from sickness to wellness, from acute events to chronic diseases, and – most importantly – from patients to customers.

Healthcare consumers are customers first and patients second, and expect to be treated that way. They expect instant access to information, communication via e-mail and SMS, ownership of their private data, fast response times, and the right to review poor service (and praise exceptional service). They don’t want to sit for hours in germ-filled waiting rooms, no longer automatically trust a white coat and stethoscope, and won’t rely on an opinion from just one healthcare professional.

Read the full article here

This is an extract from an article I published in Medical Forum WA, the magazine for WA health professionals.

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Fan the Flames of Innovation

 18th December 2017 by gihan
 Comments Off on Fan the Flames of Innovation

What do these three things have in common?

  1. Amazon Prime – Amazon’s $99/year membership service, with an estimated 80 million members
  2. Gmail – Google’s free e-mail platform, with more than 1 billion active users
  3. McCafe – McDonalds’ highly successful café offering

The answer: All three ideas came from employees, not from management.

In a fast-changing world, innovation is everybody’s business. The businesses that survive and thrive in this disruptive world are those that embrace a culture of innovation – and from everybody in the business.

How can you create a culture of innovation in your team – so people are encouraged to speak up and share their best ideas? And how do you ensure they are enthusiastic about putting these ideas into action?

Read the full article here

This is an extract from an article I published in Contact, the magazine of the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand.

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The Patient Will See You Now

 28th November 2017 by gihan

Patients are expecting (demanding!) to be treated more like customers, and want greater use of technology in their experience with medical professionals. But many doctors and medical practices are slow to change, because it takes time to learn new practices and put them in place.

Is your business the same? Are you reluctant to give customers what they want because it’s too difficult for you? If so, you’re vulnerable to disruption, because smart competitors WILL make the change – and leave you behind.

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Is YOUR Business Safe from Disruption?

 12th October 2017 by gihan

Did you see the recent report from Seek and the NAB about which industries are growing the fastest in Australia? According to the report, four industries are leading the pack when it comes to increased employment and higher salaries:

  • Building and construction
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Education and training
  • Accommodation and food services

According to Tapas Strickland, senior economist at the NAB:

“Over the past year, these industries combined have been responsible for 91% of Australia’s employment growth despite only comprising 38% of total employment in the economy.”

But are those really a safe long-term bet?

If you’re working in these industries, you might feel reassured that they are growing and creating more opportunities. But don’t be complacent! Even in these fastest-growing industries, technology and automation are eroding the way work gets done.

Here are four examples – one from each of these industries …

1. Building and construction – a one-armed robot bricklayer

Did you think you should be a brickie, because we’ll always need houses, so you’ll never be out of a job? Think again.

It’s not even news anymore that 3D printers can “print” a house in hours. And now, Perth-based company Fastbrick Robotics is working on a robot bricklayer that can build a house in a day. The robot can lay 1,000 bricks an hour – five times as much as a good brickie on a good day.

2. Healthcare – AliveCor

If you have a heart condition, you used to need to go to a cardiologist or experienced GP for regular ECGs.

But now, there’s an app for that. AliveCor provides a small device you attach to your smartphone, and you can do an ECG yourself … instantly … and the results are sent wirelessly to a remote monitoring centre.

What’s more, it’s free, because the company knows the data they gather are more valuable than the money they could charge patients. In fact, they predict that in 10 years’ time, they will have enough data to be able to predict heart attacks and strokes before they occur.

3. Education and training – MOOCs

The traditional way of doing training is to get everybody to “down tools” and gather in a training room to attend a course.

But now online training is replacing much of the traditional training course – and it can do it better, faster, and in a more customised way. Large organisations like Accenture, Deloitte, Target and Ticketmaster have extensive in-house online training programs. But even if you don’t have their resources and budget, you can get access to high-quality online courses – free or for a small fee – through the hundreds of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

4. Accommodation and food services

When we have robots doing all the work, we’ll have more leisure time, right? At least, that’s one theory, and one reason why leisure industries like accommodation and food might be seen as future-proof jobs and careers.

But not so fast! A company in Japan has already launched two hotels that are completely staffed by robots. The owners want to create “the most efficient hotel in the world”, and although it’s still not perfect, it’s a strong indication of a future trend.

So what does this all mean for YOU?

You might think of these examples as just small players in an industry, and you would be right. But disruption doesn’t happen overnight – it usually does start with small players. And if even the four fastest-growing industries in Australia are facing competition from these disruptive forces, what could this mean for your business?

The message is clear: Innovate! Don’t think disruption can’t happen to you, and don’t wait until somebody else shakes you up.

Stay Ahead of the Game

If you’re a business leader or business owner who wants to stay ahead of the game and ensure growth and longevity for your business, join our Business Accelerators program. This program is designed to give you the fast track to innovation and change. Our goal is to help you accelerate your personal and business success through a proactive approach to disruption, innovation and strategic change.

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The Future of Medicine is the Patient … err, Customer

 31st March 2017 by gihan

Last year, my parents moved house after 40 years. When searching for a new local GP, my 80-year-old father’s first source of information was online reviews he found on Google. Although he’s intelligent and computer-savvy, he’s hardly the stereotype of the typical social-media-obsessed Internet user. And yet even he knew – and used – the power of the tools at his fingertips.

The last few years have seen dramatic changes in healthcare technology – such as 3-D printed organs, smartphone ECG devices, predictive analytics and Big Data, and nanotechnology robotic surgery. But the biggest change in healthcare is the profoundly different relationship between patients and providers.

It’s become a cliché to say healthcare is becoming like a business and patients are acting more like customers. And yet, many healthcare providers don’t understand this profound change in their profession.

Siemens highlighted this in their “Picture the Future” report about healthcare in Australia in 2020: We’re changing focus from cure to prevention, from sickness to wellness, from acute events to chronic diseases, and – most importantly – from patients to customers.

Eric Topol describes this shift in his book “The Patient Will See You Now”. You don’t even need to read the book – the title gives away the punchline.

But, even if you understand it, are you living it?

Healthcare consumers are customers first and patients second, and expect to be treated that way. They expect instant access to information, communication via e-mail and SMS, ownership of their private data, fast response times, and the right to review poor service (and praise exceptional service). They don’t want to sit for hours in germ-filled waiting rooms, no longer automatically trust a white coat and stethoscope, and won’t rely on an opinion from just one healthcare professional.

Deloitte’s Centre for Health Solutions asked patients how comfortable they would feel dealing differently with medical professionals. The results offer a fascinating insight into the modern patient:

  • 60% would be comfortable with video consultations rather than an in-person appointment.
  • 55% were happy to receive medical images (such as x-rays) by e-mail.
  • Almost three-quarters would be happy choosing a treatment online based on advice sent by their medical professionals.
  • Almost three-quarters would prefer e-mail and SMS consultations.

In most other industries, suppliers would be falling over each other to serve these customer needs. In healthcare … not so much, unfortunately. A Price Waterhouse Coopers survey of doctors showed many of them simply will not adopt these practices. Here are their top five reasons:

  • 45% said they have concerns about patients’ privacy and security.
  • Almost as many said they don’t get paid for things like e-mail, SMS and video consults (there’s no CMBS code for it!)
  • One in three said it would be too expensive to implement.
  • About the same number didn’t know enough to make an informed decision.
  • A quarter said it would disrupt their current workflow.

What about you? Are these real reasons for you not to change – or just excuses? It’s always easy to find reasons to say No, but it takes real leadership to say Yes.


I wrote this article for Medical Forum WA, where it appeared in the February 2017 issue. Read the magazine online at medicalhub.com.au.

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The Future of Healthcare

 21st October 2015 by gihan

The Future of HealthcareEvery industry is facing change, but none more so than healthcare. Big data, predictive analytics and the consumerisation of healthcare are just a few of the trends affecting the way we will look at healthcare in the future.

For example:

  • What if your doctor could e-mail images (like X-rays) to you, instead of you having to go in to pick them up?
  • What if heart patients could do an ECG themselves for less than a dollar?
  • What if an iPhone app could take a photo of some food and automatically tell you the number of calories in it?

These “what if” scenarios aren’t in the future; they are available right now. I talked about these in my webinar last week.

Even if you don’t work in healthcare, you will find this webinar useful because some of the themes are common across other industries – e.g. consumers taking more control, big data providing smart diagnosis.

After the webinar, I asked participants “What was the most useful thing you learned today?” Here are some of their answers:

“All the coming technology”

“Patients want to connect to technology but healthcare professionals find the practice change difficult”

“The positive take on where we’re going – very refreshing! (sadly…)”

“Increasing use of technology in health care”

“How much more advanced technology already is than I thought!”

“Information in a field I would not normally have accessed”

The Future Proof Webinar Series

The Future Proof webinar series will keep you in touch with our future – what’s ahead, what it means for us, and how to stay ahead of the game.

In each webinar, I’ll cover an important topic about the future – for example, the shift of power to Asia, the changing workplace, healthcare technology, the shift to customer-centric business, big data, and more. This is not just theory; I’ll also give you practical examples and ideas for you to future-proof your organisation, teams, and career.

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“Patients Like You Also Had This Same Disease”

 28th May 2015 by gihan

We’re all used to getting peer-based recommendations from Web sites we visit. Amazon.com recommends other products to you, saying “Customers who bought this book also bought …”. LinkedIn and Facebook suggest friends and colleagues based on the connections of other people in your network. Travel review sites recommend attractions based on other travellers like you.

This is common in retail and service sites, but what if the same was true of your healthcare as well? What if healthcare services could predict your health based on vast amounts of data about other people just like you? What if they could say “Patients like you also had this same condition”?

Well, that is happening in healthcare now, and it’s potentially one of the biggest advances we have ever seen.

For centuries, healthcare has improved because we understand better how the human body works. That’s still true, but those improvements might be dwarfed by what software can do when it analyses data about millions of people.

In 2013, billionaire entrepreneur and investor Vinod Khosla said:

“Data science and software will do more for medicine than all of the biological sciences together.”

Just think about what he’s saying. Medicine will advance more from building microchips than understanding microbes, and the cures for cancer might come from a software lab, not a pharmaceutical lab.

That’s a bold claim, but Vinod Khosla is a highly respected investor, and his opinion carries a lot of weight. Much of his optimism comes from technology’s ability to receive, process, and analyse vast amounts of data.

(Photo: James Duncan Davidson)

Here are just a few of the things he’s investing in …

Alivecor: ECGs From Your Smartphone

Alivecor has an iPhone case that allows cardiac patients to take a daily ECG with their smartphone. It costs less than a dollar a day, captures more information than the current ECG test, and is far better than having to wait 6-12 months to make an appointment with your doctor.

The test data are sent wirelessly to a data centre, and software programs analyse and monitor them for anomalies.

alivecor-by-Mark Krynsky
(Photo: Mark Krynsky)

The beauty of this system is that the software can learn from all the data it collects from all patients, and become smarter. In about 10 years, it will have enough data to be able to predict heart attacks and strokes, so we can stop them before they occur.

Zebra Medical – Mass Radiology

In radiology, Zebra Medical takes a large set of imaging data and gives it to software to automatically analyse, evaluate, and interpret it.

In the past, this was the work of a radiologist. Now, the software frees up radiologists to focus on more advanced, less routine, things.

brain-scan-by-Reigh LeBlanc
(Photo: Reigh LeBlanc)

Cellscope – Smartphone Otoscope

In ENT, the Cellscope device is another iPhone attachment, this time for imaging skin moles, rashes and ear infections. In the future, it will also be able to image your retina and throat. Those images are then processed by software algorithms to find patterns that could indicate problems. This sort of analysis will eventually go far beyond what humans could do.

cellscope-by-TechCrunch
(Photo: TechCrunch)

Again, this doesn’t mean ENT specialists and dermatologists become redundant, but that they can focus on more specialised cases.

Ginger.io – Early Warning System

One more example of a company Vinod Khosla talks about – and has invested in – is Ginger.io, which was founded by data scientists from MIT.

They have a smartphone app that monitors your behaviour – how many calls you make, whether you’re travelling or not, and so on. They don’t monitor your private conversations, photos or other private material on your phone, but look at the patterns of behaviour.

Based on this, they help doctors, insurance companies, and others anticipate when people are not doing well and contact them proactively. They see big opportunities to help psychologists in particular with depression and other mental health issues.

ginger-io

These innovations are transforming healthcare.

Vinod Khosla is bullish about its future (and he’s putting large amounts of money where his mouth is). He explains why:

“It takes 10 to 15 years to develop a drug and actually be in the marketplace, with an incredibly high failure rate …. Digital health often has fewer safety effects, and iterations can happen in 2- to 3-year cycles, [so] the rate of innovation goes up substantially.”

We all like to think we’re unique in the way we behave, interact with others, and look after our bodies. But we’re more alike than we think. And smart software programmed by smart developers is using that to improve our health – now and in the future.

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