Thoughts Over the Wire

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Dan's Dose of the Day - Faster isn’t Enough

Key Points

  • COVID-19 has turned the entire planet’s focus to healthcare
  • Collaboration on all levels will help us overcome this pandemic but will continue to perpetuate the focus of primary care
  • Even with a world pandemic, preventative care cannot garnish enough momentum to shift the paradigm
  • Solutions focused around data offers the capabilities of addressing primary care needs now while also laying the foundation for a gradual paradigm shift to preventative care, but only if the data is holistic
Nelson Mandela once said “It always seems impossible until it is done”. Amidst these difficult times, it’s astonishing to see how humankind can come together to come up with the most ingenious of ideas. The speed in which we react may differ based on the region, the culture, or even the technology available, however the outcome is always the same - prevailing in the end. We reflect on our accomplishments, take the lessons to heart, and better prepare for the future. Despite these historically accurate truths, one contradiction that continues to exist is the dominant model of healthcare - reactionary. 

As technology continues to advance and demands grow, it shouldn’t come to a surprise that the best solutions are those that make work quicker, easier, and faster with richer information. Unfortunately, these solutions only focus on half the equation in healthcare; there is less focus on keeping people healthy and preventing illness. What is the first thought that normally comes to mind when healthcare is brought up? Likely its hospitals & clinics, treating sick individuals, surgeries & procedures - in other words primary care. Solutions and technology are often aimed at targeting primary care for the most obvious reasons, it’s where the majority of the business and demand is with quicker more tangible results. But no matter how fast the technology and solutions get, it’ll always be one step behind, treating rather than preventing, keeping the focus on primary care.

If preventative care models are equally as important to obtain better, cheaper, and safer well-being against epidemics, acute illnesses, and management of chronic conditions, why isn’t it getting more attention? Certainly amidst the current world pandemic, more arguments are favouring the side of preventative care, but it likely will be short lived. Resources must continue to be poured into the treatment and care for an overwhelmingly large flux of patients; the larger the issue, the bigger the shadow it casts.The reality is, money, time and resources are needed immediately and that there isn’t enough to spare. This notion still rings true outside of pandemic times where any additional resources are generally allocated towards advancements and research; healthcare demands need to keep pace with evolving illnesses and conditions. So does this mean there will never be a shift in the paradigm where there is more of an equal split?

The shift towards preventative healthcare will not happen overnight, in fact it may take many more years if not decades to reach an equilibrium. But I truly believe that it will happen and it will all come down to data. One of the main reasons that preventative models do not receive as much attention or momentum is due to the difficulty in articulating the clear ROI; not only is it hard to codify, but takes a long period of time to be realized. However, with the prevalence of AI and ML modelling initiatives, it is only a matter of time until the empirical evidence becomes too hard to ignore. What will feed these models, is the data. Data from solutions and technologies that are able to tackle the primary care issues now while simultaneously creating a foundational data set. The keyword there is foundational, this means the data set needs to have more than just the patient relevant information. It will also have to include: operational data, workflow data, building and environment data, financial data… in short, everything. 

I will be exploring all the elements to a foundational data set in my next blog post, but until then stay safe everyone.

As an organization that serves both healthcare, commercial real estate, and corporate real estate organizations we empathize deeply with what our customers are going through at this moment. We’re a technology organization, but for us people have always come first. If you need advice on where to start or how you can make the changes your organization needs to be prepared for the future, get in touch. Community is important now more than ever. 

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