Healthcare has long been ripe for innovation, and the Covid-19 pandemic has served as a major catalyst.
I would presume that for all my fellow healthcare futurists and innovators who have been promoting healthcare innovation for years the global response to this pandemic must feel as frustrating as it is for me!
On the one hand all our innovation projects we have been trying to get approved for years were finally implemented over night due to the healthcare crisis and on the other hand we all feel incredibly frustrated that if there had not been such a resistance to change we could have been much better prepared to deal with this pandemic by using our collective global digital technology arsenal. However, during the Pre-Covid19 era we needed extensive business plans, ridiculous ROI projection spreadsheets and endless hours wasted instead of improving global population health.
Top healthcare innovations during the Covid-19 pandemic:
Apps that can detect COVID remotely
Drones that provide and deliver medical supply
Chatbots assisting patients
Advanced stethoscopes that monitor quarantined patients
Robots delivering COVID-19 relief
3D Printing nasal testing swabs
Cloud-based CPAP remote monitoring
In reviewing all the top healthcare innovation trends during the Covid-19, it is highly ironic that every single one could have either prevented this pandemic, or limited the rapid expansion, or aid in the treatment of those severe cases or at least facilitated the logistics of our global healthcare response... such as telehealth, wearables, implants, AI, precision medicine, robotics, drones, 3D printing, AR/VR technology, blockchain to just mention a few.
The two major barriers we have usually encountered when attempting to secure approval for implementing some of these amazing technologies were: fear of disruption and cost. As every corporate innovator knows, it was notoriously difficult to prove the ROI for Innovation Projects (akin to impossible) and most C-Suites would find the proposals rather utopian. With the massive global economic impact we are witnessing with this pandemic, I hope that it is evident now how a proactive preventive approach would have had a significantly lower cost on our society and perhaps could have even saved lives!
So what are these Healthcare Innovations and how are they helping the pandemic now? What can we learn from this pandemic and how can we demand reinvention of healthcare post-crisis so that future generations do not have to experience this type of trauma and helplessness?
We have an opportunity to totally redefine wellness, healthcare and improve global population health. By using telehealth, AI, genomics, precision medicine, drones, robotics, 3D, wearables, IoB, IoT, virtual medical twins and design state-of-the-art hospitals equipped with all the technologies we have available globally across industries we can hopefully truly disrupt old legacy sick-care models and focus on eradicating or preventing disease, deliver personalized care and never ever have to experience the embarrassment of not having protective equipment for our medical providers, have to choose which patient gets a ventilator or have no medications for our patients!
The non-healthcare giants have proven that their modern logistics and supply chain systems are much more effective, agile and healthcare organizations need to seriously revise their strategic plans for the next decade ( examples are Ali Baba, Amazon, Elon Musk, Dyson, Google, Walmart etc).
In closing, I hope that as a society we learn from this experience and demand a disruption of healthcare delivery models, healthcare supply chain systems, promote a shift from only treating disease to preventing disease and aim to maintain wellness. It is also my belief that we have the unique opportunity to break down inter-disciplinary silos, share scientific advancements across geographic and institutional borders for all diseases just like we have done now for Covid-19- sadly just too late.
In a nirvana-like healthcare futurist's world, one would envision the same global efforts deployed after this pandemic emerged in order to create a new exponential medicine world and offer future generations the human right of optimized population health.
Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes, MD MBA Is a healthcare executive, futurist and globalist who is highly dedicated to digital and ethics advocacy. She is a Forbes Business Council member, digital strategist, passionate educator and entrepreneurship ecosystem builder, known as an expert speaker, board advisor and consultant. Throughout her career she has received several awards for excellence in research, teaching or leadership. She is the recipient of numerous awards most notably: WBAF World Excellence AwardSocial Entrepreneurship 2021, Top 20 Global Leaders in Digital Twins Technologies, Top 50 Global Leaders in Health Tech,Top 50 Global Ecosystem Leaders, Top 100 Visionary In Education Award 2021, Top 100 Global Women in Leadership Award 2021, Top 100 World Women Vision Award, 2021-Innovation & Tech, Top 100 Women in Social Enterprise 2021 (nominee),Top 50 Global Thinkers (Nominee),Nations of Women Change Makers Award(finalist),Top 100 Healthcare Leader 2020 Award, Top 100 Finance Leader 2020 Award, and Top 100 Women in Crypto 2020. Additionally, she serves as an Expert Advisor to the EU Blockchain Observatory Forum, and was appointed to the Board of UN Legal and Economic Empowerment Network. Dr. Vasiliu-Feltes is CEO of Softhread Inc., the Founder and CEO of The Science, Entrepreneurship and Investments Institute, and currently serving as a Country Director for WBAF USA, Senator of WBAF, Faculty Member of the WBAF Business School-Division of Entrepreneurship, and teaching the Executive MBA Business Technology Course at the UM Business School. She is also acting as the Chief Innovation Officer for the Government Blockchain Association. Most recently she served as President of Detect Genomix, Chief Quality and Safety Officer Chief and Innovation Officer for Mednax, Chief Quality and Safety Officer and Chief of Compliance for the University of Miami UHealth System During her academic tenure she taught several courses within the Medical School, as well as the combined MD/PhD and MD/MPH programs. Throughout her career, Dr. Vasiliu-Feltes held several leadership positions and is a member of numerous prestigious professional organizations. She holds several certifications, such as Bioethics from Harvard, Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy from MIT Sloan, Blockchain Technology and Business Innovation from MIT Sloan, Finance from Harvard Business School, Negotiation from Harvard Law School, Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management, Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Patient Safety Officer by the International Board Federation of Safety Managers, Master Black Belt in Lean and Six Sigma Management, Professional in Healthcare Quality by the National Association of Healthcare Quality, Manager for Quality and Organizational Excellence, by the American Society for Quality, and Certified Risk Management Professional by the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management. Additionally, Dr. Vasiliu-Feltes is an Honorary Advisory Board Member of several companies, as well as an Editorial Board Member for several international publications, an author and TV/Media partner.