Securing the Healthcare Technologies

By Helen Figge, Senior VP, Global Strategies and Development, LumiraDx USA, Inc.

Helen Figge, Senior VP, Global Strategies and Development, LumiraDx USA, Inc.

1) What do you see as a big challenge in technology to meet the challenges of your industry?

The most practical answer is using the technologies to assist in complying with new government requirements and mandates. The technologies need to be practical and supportive to ensure that clinicians and caregivers have the right resources that are sustainable for long-term healthcare success.

"It’s all about positive outcomes – clinical, social and financial"

We are in a new and sustainable era of mobile solutions. Most hospital entities, clinics and physician offices still have desktop technologies and keyboards. We need to remove these devices to create a more mobile environment to ensure important health care-related tasks, such as gathering quick information and placing orders, should be efficient and in real-time without affecting any patient privacy and security. This in turn would provide and assist in delivering seamless, efficient and user-friendly technology data which would replace the current frustrations seen at times by physicians receiving data that is not in real-time and delivered slow, cumbersome and via clunky machinery.

2) Organizations have to integrate data across the enterprise to have a 360-degree view of the customer, but it’s not an easy thing to do. What are your thoughts on getting this act right?

I think we have plenty of technology in play right now–now we all need to work together to get it right and become operationally efficient. For sustainability, the world of health care IT and clinical medicine need to come together in order to improve on the design and implementation of all current and future technologies, systems and nuances in healthcare. We need to work more on the “people factor” of things because without practical and frontline input, there is no feasible way that any IT professional could know what is needed and how to deliver it. It needs to be local, regional and even national.

3) What will specific types of technology give leaders/ players within your industry the competitive edge?

We are seeing the healthcare industry continually facing challenges to improve quality, reduce errors while improving access, efficiency yet, remove unnecessary wastes and costs. The only resolution would be infusing innovations into the fold whether it is workflow process development, AI, practical technology approaches and a combination of all of the above. Under the current healthcare system there is no easy “fix” but rather a compilation of several different pieces working together to create a streamlined and uniformed approach to healthcare and its delivery. Given the current healthcare landscape it is ripe for innovational approaches even from outside the healthcare industry – we are seeing it now with Google and Amazon among others approaching healthcare to create an impact.

4) Despite the advancement in technology and availability of some cool technology solutions, there isn't a day when we can say 'all is fine.' There are several pain points within the enterprise for which solutions do not exist yet. In your business environment, what are some of the solutions, which are not available or not up to the mark and if available, would have made your job easier?

The big one is the security of healthcare–if nothing else before we move any further in innovating healthcare, we need to lock it down and make it as secure as possible. The more we have available for others to view the more we are in jeopardy of being at risk as a society and of our data as well but healthcare data is ripe for selling because it contains so much robust data points that can be used for a variety of reasons. Yet we keep turning to technologies and solutions as the answer to every known healthcare problem but the most important factor in all of this is the “people factor” we are overlooking and continue to not realize which is a paramount point to focus on, in my opinion. Again, it’s the human factor we continually seem to be over looking because most attacks are designed by humans to affect humans, and so one needs to realize we are all vulnerable. We need to do more training and interpersonal efforts and rely on the human factor more and less on technology trying to simulate the human factor because obviously it is not working for the healthcare industry as it should or how it was designed. So, while we train staff as best we can, we need to invest more in this effort because it literally takes only one person to click on the wrong link or attachment to let chaos strike and for malware to invade an entire system to the point of paralysis.

5) There are several technology trends which you perhaps would be observing (big data, social media, mobile, cloud, IOT). Can you share with us few trends that will have a significant impact on your enterprise business environment and your industry?

The biggest impact will be the use of mobile technologies and turning to the “hospital in the home” model of delivering care. This is all based on technologies already in use today – the various mobile devices and implementing practical and meaningful innovations that truly create value for all of the various stakeholders that interact with the innovation. For the patient it might reflect as therapies that help return them to a meaningful way of life and for their caregivers perhaps knowing their patients and loved ones are receiving the care they deserve. Then of course you have the payers who want quality care at competitive cost. It’s all about positive outcomes – clinical, social and financial.

Another facet will be the “BYOD”, bring your own device mantra that probably will be a great influencer given that the consumer market is now driving corporate adoption of virtually all business segments in the US. Because cloud infrastructure is capable of supporting a range of devices, consumer driven healthcare will enable the choice of a device that perhaps someone is familiar with, which would in turn decrease cost and even simple things as training and monitoring since the consumer chose the technology based on ease their personal choice and comfort with that specific technology.

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