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Healthcare and Technology

Healthcare and Technology 

By: Jessica Koster, Director of Digital Strategy 

[This article originally appeared on Compass Digital Labs.] 

In my time working with the Compass Healthcare sector, I have learned a lot. I often find myself at the ever-interesting cross-section of technology and healthcare. I see myself saying that healthcare usually takes more “care and feeding” to get technology to take hold. But WHY? Why is it more difficult to move technology into this space? Let’s dig a little deeper….

In healthcare, Compass Digital Labs works beyond the lines of the traditional retail space; we bring innovation to caregivers, operators, and even patients.  Something as simple as wiring for a mobile project can be sent to a committee and take months for approvals. When you bring the complexity of privacy regulations into consideration; the entrance into this space can provide unique challenges.

Generally speaking, hospital IT teams are risk-averse, as are some clients to which they report.  While looking for innovation, it’s understood that there is no room for error, causing competing priorities between innovation and perfection.

Integration with patient EMR (Electronic Medical Records) is complex and costly so much so that a CEO of a Health Services company recently called a major EMR provider an “impediment to innovation.”

Hospital clients are cautious to innovation for a reason; something as simple as a menu error could cause illness or even worse.  Fines for non-compliance are steep and impact hospital funding. These challenges make the concept of “Failing Fast,” and other innovation-based start-up thinking foreign and risky.

The good news is that we see a shift where new technologies are replacing legacy providers.  Many are start-ups offering less complex business models, easier API based tech and cost that makes sense for pilots, testing and learning.

Disruption in healthcare is in the headlines, but coming from outside of the industry.  We’re seeing the traditional technology powerhouses entering the space.  In 2019, rumors have Amazon moving into the health insurance space based on acquisitions, and Apple recently hired physicians to guide healthcare strategy.

In the future, a good healthcare experience will look like an excellent retail experience – the customer (guest or patient) will be in control and be able to compare, learn and be inspired in our spaces and experiences.  The technology you’d expect outside of a hospital space will be what you find inside, creating the consistency that can transform and evolve hospital experiences.

With some extra “care and feeding” Compass Digital Labs is uniquely positioned to offer innovative solutions that are based on industry best practices as well as customized for the unique environments of the Healthcare space.  This space may be challenging, but we never shy away from a challenge; it always makes the solutions that much more impactful and rewarding.

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