Tech Forum: Here’s What Healthcare Technology Leaders Are Talking About Today

Nashville, Tenn.—The evolution of healthcare is rapidly unfolding, and the industry needs to keep up. That was a sentiment many healthcare leaders echoed on Day One of the Emids Healthcare Summit, which entailed the Tech Forum—an event catering to healthcare and life sciences technology leaders, CTOs and CIOs.

Healthcare Technology Challenges

“Every industry is already moving into Web3. Meanwhile, in healthcare, we’re still talking Web2 or Web1.”

Jared Josleyn

Global Head of Digital Healthcare at Sanofi

Josleyn added that other industries like banking are ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting efficient use of data.

In the same vein, a key pain point in the healthcare industry is being able to seamlessly identify a patient as they move from one health system to the next, said Deanna Wise, CIO of Banner Health.

“My favorite soapbox is we don’t have a single patient identifier. How do I know if you’re coming from one facility or another and that you are who you say you are?” she said, adding that a universal patient identifier could solve many challenges in the industry.

Healthcare Technology Opportunities

And while healthcare has a long way to go in taking up avant-garde technological solutions, speakers at the Tech Forum also offered insights on what they’re doing to help evolve the healthcare industry in their respective roles as technology leaders. And much of it entails creating the right partnerships.

Cari Lewis is the director of Hospital Based Clinical Systems at Pediatrix Medical Group. Lewis notes the value of working with a vendor offering low-code solutions.

“You want to look for multiple support mechanisms with your technology vendor,” she said, noting that a technology vendor that meshes well with your internal team is a key ingredient to a healthcare organization’s success.

“We are driving the business and integrated developers into our organization and one thing that’s great is the longevity that has developed between us and our tech vendors,” Lewis said.

“There’s also a very robust research and development team we’re working with from OutSystems. Working with an innovative vendor and having a vendor that understands our business is key.”

Similar to  Lewis, Jacob Sims has certain guidelines when it comes to finding the right technology vendor to work with.

“Our ability to serve is dependent on the people we work with so we look very heavily to those that can come in and innovate, those that can come in and solve problems, and help us transition into new technologies. We also want someone who is trustworthy.”

Jacob Sims

CTO of Gainwell Technologies

Centering the Patient and Consumer in Healthcare

Another sentiment healthcare technology leaders raised at Tech Forum was the importance of keeping the patient or consumer at the center of your healthcare product or service.

“You really got to think about the patient experience as you build your [healthcare] product. Build with people first and then build with technology to optimize around people,” said Co-Founder and CEO of Thyme Care, Robin Shah.

Rajeev Ronanki, Senior VP at Elevance Health & President of Carelon Digital Platforms, agrees with Shah.

“We need to think about the emotional connection between healthcare products and people. As an industry we recognize that the basics of healthcare still have ample opportunity for improvement.”

Rajeev Ronanki

Senior VP at Elevance Health & President of Carelon Digital Platforms

Centering the Patient & Health Consumer

The final panel at Tech Forum delved into the changing nature of work, which has impacted how healthcare organizations function in this post-pandemic world.

While the industry was largely in-person prior to the pandemic, it primarily went remote amid the pandemic. Today, healthcare organizations are trying to figure out what model of work best suits their respective company cultures.

“We’re all learning how to make this work and we’re all wrestling with this hybrid space,” said Bill Fandrich, SVP & CIO at BlueCross and BlueShield of Michigan.

He added that for organizations that are leaning towards going in-person, consider how you use the office space so that it suits the needs of employees.

“If you have meaningful engagement when people come into the office, it makes them smile. When they go into the office and sit on Zoom all day, it does the opposite.”

Bill Fandrich

SVP & CIO at BlueCross and BlueShield of Michigan

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