What Does Your Next 2020 Look Like and Why Is It All About Design in Healthcare Today? – Medical Alley Association

What Does Your Next 2020 Look Like and Why Is It All About Design in Healthcare Today?

A few weeks ago, during a post-acquisition conversation with our new colleagues from Momentum Design Labs, I was asked by my new colleague, “what does your next 2020 look like?” It was a question we so instinctively had avoided, thinking that we are slowly past a massive healthcare-related event.

But, in reality, 2020 has sparked several tectonic shifts in healthcare that touches every aspect of care:

Healthcare Shifts Impacted by Covid-19

1st Shift: Devices @ Home (How do I manage health using tools at home?). Unable to leave homes for basic or advanced healthcare, the opportunity arose for people to deal with various conditions using at- home medical devices and wellness indicators. People’s comfort with this ability continues through offerings like caregiver presence via Alexa and home devices like Tytocare and Humeds. Best Buy Health’s acquisition of Current Health further shows that managing and living with a new normal is expected. The challenges however arise in designing products that are more intuitive than has previously been available, especially when products are intended for home use initially.

2nd Shift: Telemedicine (what can I do on my phone/computer that is faster or more convenient?). Adoption here has accelerated, not necessarily at the national level, but far more at the regional level, where people’s ability to connect with local doctors was far more useful due to state regulatory boundaries. The understanding of the patient’s position in the care pathway matters. There are 4 categories of telehealth:

3rd Shift: Entry point into the health system (where do I go first when I’m sick?). The ongoing “land grab” for this space revolves around the multitude of choices that have emerged: Does one start at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart Health, or go to a primary care point like Forward or Carbon Health? Or is it an insurance coaching area like MOBE? While payers may drive some of this conversation, the space is wide open but heavily dependent on segmenting the various types of conditions, not just from a disease state, but behavioral and lifestyle perspectives.

4th Shift: Data Stories matter for AI (So much data, such limited insight). There is an understated shift in the use of AI across multiple areas of health. Insights in the patient health population, care pathway improvement, and diagnostics, to name a few, brings lots of data, but sometimes incomplete. Creating stories around the data implies a level of understanding of the patient, caregiver, and health system.

Advances in patient data harmonization across legacy systems are problematic. Yet, many companies still take a technology-centered approach versus a patient-centered approach, as exampled by failures like Epic’s early warning Sepsis system, with highly problematic false positives as a result of their AI approach.

“The next 3-5 years will define how healthcare will look in the next 100 years.”

–Hemant Taneja, General Catalyst, HLTH 2021.

Hemant’s comment takes the investor’s view of changes ahead, but the implementation of these changes will be what makes the difference.

Design and Healthcare Challenges Ahead:

How does this reflect on design in healthcare? As we mapped out Momentum’s additional HealthTech experience against our 2022 goals HTEC Group chartered for itself, we realized the following:

  1. Accelerate innovation. One area that is emerging around “what is innovative or new” is the longitudinal view of the patient. It is evolving not just from when they enter the healthcare system when someone is sick, but merging with all health data and lifestyle insights before the person became sick. This helps triage the patient in the system and/or give better treatment when they do have an issue. Tracking health or other wellness indicators on the consumer side, along with behavioral aspects, can give better segmentation and insights to practitioners. This is a wide-open space but is emerging in many medical device roadmaps.
  2. Validate solutions around medical devices. Typically, technology drives many medical innovations, but corporate programs that explore new products, typically fund a program to build a system without certainty of results. When these results are mediocre, it is not uncommon that the corporation will double down with more cash and muscle through to some modicum of success. Better, earlier stage validation, customer and user research, and robust testing get faster results.
  3. Transforming the digital nature of pharmacies. The ecosystem and behaviors of people around pharmacies require knowledge of payers, devices, PBMs, and especially user needs. Today’s design skillsets require far more multi-point-of-care perspective and experience to bring effective products and value into the market.
  4. Incubate and launch. Companies or investment funds with product teams start with product vision and strategy, but there are many design steps to bring a vision into market readiness and launch. Bridging that through the product understanding, and business and user constraints take a concerted effort with the right mix of design and technical understanding.

I’m excited about Momentum’s potential to Medical Alley’s next level of growth and impact in healthcare. Combined with HTEC’s deep technical knowledge and ability to help large and small entities launch new products, helps prepare and better react to the next black swan event like 2020’s Covid outbreak.

About HTEC Group

HTEC Group is a global consulting, software engineering, and digital product development company that empowers the world’s best high-tech companies, disruptive startups, corporations, and Fortune 500 enterprises with innovative product design thinking and sophisticated engineering services. With headquarters in San Francisco and local offices in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Slovenia, as well as 12 tech development centers across Southeast Europe, HTEC is well-positioned to deliver sophisticated digital products and platforms across domains in Healthcare and MedTech.

Written by Sava Marinkovich, HTEC Group Head of Health (sava.marinkovich@htecgroup.com)

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