The Face of Global Healthcare in the Year 2020
For many years the industry has been criticized as a broken system, struggling to meet the ever-changing challenges that it faces. However, positive steps are being made by providers from around the world to correct these problems, with technology leading the way.
By the year 2020 the healthcare industry will be a highly connected environment powered by large data networks, cloud computing, and mobile devices. Leading to a widespread increase in connected networks, providing seamless integration between care providers, patients, pharmaceutical companies, health insurers, and other invested interests from around the world. Within this model care will become more patient-centric, less expensive to provide, and more innovative.
As ever, developments within the industry are being pushed by regulatory pressures and pulled by changing demands such as the ageing population or expanding emerging markets in Africa and Asia. However, it is modern advances in technology that will be capable of accelerating the medtech industry ahead of these trends in the coming years.
These include integrated communication networks that facilitate remote delivery of health services. Cloud computing and machine-to-machine innovations now provide an easy launching point for getting these networks online. However, for the year 2020 to bring a better healthcare world, the industry needs to start laying the foundations now.
Accenture has identified a three-phase approach to help medical technology providers effectively re-engineer their current business strategies in order to deliver these goals by 2020.
Horizon Scan 2020+
Providers should first conduct a ‘horizon scan’ whereby a senior management team with knowledge in various disciplines should study the potential that certain technologies will deliver to their profit margins, such as; new healthcare eco-systems, distributed imaging systems, distributed diagnostics, global shared diagnostics services models, global devices portals, handheld imaging and diagnostic systems clinical decision support hubs, fully integrated micro monitoring, and health system solutions.
These medical technology providers should then do secondary research to identify the relevant markets, environments, and competitive trends.
Disruption and Engagement
During this phase, insight and output on the future direction of the healthcare industry are collected and prioritized for further refinement. Open workshops help develop breakthrough disruptive platforms that can best execute these ideas. This concept should encompass a solution, the proposition, and the estimated windfall the concept will return to the company.
Putting Innovation into Action
After studying the healthcare industry and generating disruptive strategies in response, this next stage consolidates everything together into an actionable innovation plan. Experts vet the innovation concept considering the implications it will have on the company’s strategic vision and positioning, for better or worse.
Read the full Accenture report here.
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”