Can real healthcare transformation happen in a day? At the recent MM&M Transforming Healthcare 2016 event, attendees were challenged to make healthcare transformation personal. Many powerful themes and stories emerged over the course of the day – and while there was no instant transformation, the pathway toward significant healthcare change was made clear.
For example, in the automotive industry, it’s often said that the size of the cup holders in a car can sway buyers more than the size of the engine or the stopping distance of the brakes. Intuitively, this makes sense, as consumers frequently make buying decisions for purely aesthetic and/or emotional reasons. For healthcare providers, though, the equivalent to large and convenient cup holders is not always clear. Sridhar Iyengar, formerly of AgaMatrix and now CEO of Elemental Machines, notes the importance of observing patients in their natural habitat to help uncover these small but essential variables that can truly help transform the healthcare experience. It was only after observing a woman with arthritis struggling to open a zipper on her bag that his team at AgaMatrix realized the need to add a simple circle clip to the end of the zipper. It is the attention to little details like this that hold the potential to transform healthcare as much as any dramatic change in policy or technology breakthrough. Uncovering these finer points takes concentrated effort, and an openness to “following the data.”
Transforming the patient experience itself was a consistent theme of many speakers at the MM&M event. A panel consisting of Fred Petito, Richard K. Payne, PhD, and Vishal Lala, PhD focused on decision bias among patients and HCPs. It turns out that patients have been shown to be more receptive to receiving medical information when they are in a better mood. Meanwhile, HCPs may not respond to direct feedback about their own behavior, but they are intensely interested to learn how their practice routines compare to those of their peers. These simple but powerful insights point the way to more personalized and effective patient-HCP interactions.
Will Reese, President and Chief Innovation Officer at Cadient, helped focus attendees on five key drivers of transformation:
1). Think Smaller
Little things are big.
— YOGI BERRA
2). Deeply Appreciate Behavior
Everyone experiences far more than he understands. Yet it is experience rather than understanding that influences behavior.
— MARSHALL McLUHAN
3). Craft Customer Experiences
You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology –
not the other way around.
— STEVE JOBS
4). Distribute Content in Context
Content is important because it helps people relate to what it is we do.
What we do, not what we sell.
— LINDA BOFF,
5). Think Bigger
If you’re a great programmer and a great deep learning expert, you don’t have to help Netflix pick the best movie … you can help people pick the right cancer drug.
— JONATHAN ROTHBERG
CEO, ION TORRENT
Based on these five drivers, teams at the event created their own “Transformation Tweets,” by focusing on particular audiences and outcomes. A powerful and diverse set of aspirational goals emerged in a relatively short amount of time:
For pharma manufacturers, real transformation starts with the guts to push the envelope, in order to regain trust from customers.
For healthcare decision-makers, real transformation starts with transparency and honest open communications, in order to achieve trust.
For chronically ill patients, real transformation starts with developing a clear path, in order to increase caregiver participation.
For moms, real transformation starts with simplicity, in order to achieve sanity.
For healthcare stakeholders, real transformation starts with collaborative and transparent product development and communications, in order to achieve better outcomes and innovations.
At first glance, healthcare transformation is a topic that seems almost too vast to even consider, but in many industries, digital tools and design approaches are being used to radically transform architecture, transportation and even space travel. Meanwhile, digital pharma often still revolves around where to place a banner ad. While we might not be putting people on Mars, we believe that as an industry we can aim higher in terms of how we deploy digital technologies for healthcare. In short, it’s time to ask bigger and more transformative questions of digital, i.e.:
• How can digital help my organization become a better partner in a community’s health?
• How can digital help to enhance the small patient moments that really matter?
• How can digital help to improve the patient-HCP relationship?
• How can digital help to build trust between customers and my brand?
• How can digital help to better support moms and caregivers?
While there is no “one-size fits all” answer to what drives real healthcare transformation, it’s clear that the path forward begins by focusing each day on the small things that drive patient experience, challenging our default biases, and asking more challenging questions of ourselves and our organizations.