By Arvind Vaishnav, Vice President, Head of Philips Innovation Campus (PIC) Bengaluru
Healthcare leaders are under immense pressure to improve clinical and operational processes as well as accelerate digital transformation to address the increasing demand for more personalised, improved, and patient-centric health services. Covid-19 further emphasized this critical need of care moving to home and community while hospitals provide acute and specialized care. Progressive leaders are hence emphasising a clear path forward in which a stronger future of care is co-created to benefit health systems, providers, and patients alike. The power of such collaboration was apparent when Covid-19 spread its tentacles across the world. Governments, pharmaceutical companies, and providers collaborated at an unprecedented level to develop, manufacture, distribute and administer Covid vaccines.
As evidenced across industries, digital solutions can accelerate the transformation of healthcare. Digital interventions will not only improve hospital work efficiency but also elevate patient care to a whole new level. This will involve reimagining the care paradigm as it exists today. Progressive healthcare leaders are doing exactly that. Leaders continue to invest in enabling technologies – including digital health records, telehealth, and artificial intelligence (AI) tools that can enhance efficiency, improve care and connect remote communities. Take for instance, a public-private partnership that was established in the Middle East. The partnership will promote advanced technologies in the health field, support expertise exchange, and develop national capabilities, which will enhance the quality of health services, create new job opportunities, and elevate the national economy to become a data and AI-driven economy.
Such partnerships, swiveling in the power of exponential technologies as well as incredible
opportunities, potentially brought forth by co-innovation and co-created solutions can significantly bolster socio-economic development. Of course, a strategic partner should be committed to ongoing performance improvement and share risk and accountability for driving predetermined outcomes. For example, a children’s hospital in the US established strategic partnership with a vendor of digital electronic health record systems. Researchers in the hospital have been able to analyze huge volumes of data and develop new algorithms that dictate optimal clinical practices for pediatric patients as they age.
According to McKinsey, MedTech businesses, for example, have the chance to collaborate closely with healthcare providers to supply not only equipment but also novel services, frequently enabled by software, that addresses unique provider needs. According to the report, these "beyond-the-product & relationships aid hospital administration in reducing fixed expenses and enhancing services. Working with a global health tech partner and their ambient experience technology, for example, a hospital was able to provide a significantly calmer and less frightening experience to young patients undergoing MRIs.
This kind of win-win potential, according to healthcare providers, health IT companies, and industry experts, is necessary for any strategic relationship to succeed. Instead of concentrating on specific tasks, it’s important to have a long-term commitment to the connection and a common strategic aim.
Forging strategic partnerships now is essential, more than ever, if healthcare providers are to be ready for the future. Healthcare leaders say such collaborations can help lower costs and create flexible risk-sharing business models, which can, in turn, help increase profits. Digital technologies ranging from wearable medical devices to artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics are enabling greater operational efficiencies and better health outcomes in an era of increasingly prevention-oriented care.
Providers’ greatest challenge now is implementing and integrating these various digital
technologies—and sharing the massive volumes of data they generate—to enable the widespread and continuous availability of personalised patient services and care across the health care ecosystem.
Leaders should look for strategic partners with broad and deep experience and a commitment to a shared future. Needless to state, partnership should not be for a particular initiative, but for the long term, so when the next big thing does come along, there is adequate knowledge and trust, which will make solution adoption faster and more innovative. For example, a European hospital insists on joint responsibility for sustainability as a foundational part of its strategic partnerships with equipment manufacturers and other partners. The planning includes defining clear and measurable targets, such as minimising equipment shipping and environmental impact, and/or reducing equipment and data storage power consumption.
The foremost benefit from forging a strategic partnership is also the potential for systemic health care transformation. It begins with two partners—the hospital and a partner from the industry side— but then it brings all of the health care ecosystem around to the new way of care and technology.