Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Technology & the Consumerization of Healthcare

Monday, May 5 marked the start of general sessions at Centricity™ LIVE, GE Healthcare’s premier IT education event.

A crowd of nearly 1,200 health IT professionals descended upon the Colorado Convention Center, and GE Healthcare IT President and CEO Jan De Witte opened the day with a rousing keynote address. He discussed top challenges facing the healthcare industry, GE Healthcare IT’s mission to be the market leader in Integrated Care Solutions and how this mission will help healthcare providers drive better outcomes for patients.

De Witte also introduced the panel discussion “Perspectives on U.S. Healthcare,” which featured GE’s Vice President, Global Software Center, Bill Ruh, GE Healthcare President and CEO John Dineen, former Governor of Utah Michael Leavitt and moderator Esther Dyson. A central theme of the conversation centered on what healthcare and healthcare delivery will look like in the future.

HICCup founder and moderator Esther Dyson, President and CEO of GE Healthcare John Dineen, Vice President, GE Global Software Center Bill Ruh, and Michael Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and three-term Governor of Utah

HICCup founder and moderator Esther Dyson, President and CEO of GE Healthcare John Dineen, Vice President, GE Global Software Center Bill Ruh, and Michael Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and three-term Governor of Utah

While consumer technology has led the way in leveraging big data, the cloud and mobility, industries such as aviation, energy and transportation are starting to connect devices and pull data to help machines collaborate more efficiently.

According to Dineen, healthcare will look very similar to these industries in coming years and have greater interaction with patients, healthcare’s consumer. If consumer companies didn’t adopt this shift in technology early, it was too late to catch up. But according to Ruh, “Over the next seven to ten years, we’ll see an architectural shift in healthcare—it will be driven by consumers who can now make choices.”

Think about how many people have bought something online in the last year, do their banking on a mobile device or use wearable technology. This consumerization of healthcare by patients will change how health IT companies like GE Healthcare deliver new technology.

Looking beyond the technologies alone, Gov. Leavitt believes we must focus on “collaborative IT” –figuring out how IT can get people, not just machines, work together. For him, it comes down to partnership in business, technology and with the patient, persuading them to take a more proactive role in their care.

Observing other industries, Gov. Leavitt said that when change has happened, it wasn’t just from technology: “It was the sociology of getting people to work together to solve a problem… Collaboration is the sociology of the network.”

The panelists agreed that in ten years, the healthcare industry will look very different. Massive investments in health IT are coming, and data these technologies collect will be used to help patients and providers make better decisions. And with that, health IT architecture will become more similar to Google and Amazon, with data and analytics helping solve the industry’s problems. It’s an exciting time to be in an industry in a state of disruption.

Click here to watch highlights of day 1 at Centricity LIVE.