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  • Max Koelb

Digital Health World Conference 2023

Updated: Jan 19

In Autumn of this year we were reached out to by the Digital health Conference in London, asking whether we would like to attend and give a speech at their conference. Having visited this last year when elmeas was much smaller, I thought it would be a great development to explain where we had gotten to, what we were tackling and, more importantly for everyone there

I had already summarised some of the findings below via LinkedIn, but here on our blog it is a great way for us to add a bit more detail.

First off though, speaking at this conference was a great experience. For every point I will try and add two more very interesting complementary points.

1️⃣ - Healthcare is extremely costly with countries spending 10%-16% of their GDP on it; the trend and prognosis suggest this could grow to up to 50%, mainly given the demographic change of our population

We have been well aware of this and actually what gets ignored is that it is the combination of the demographic change and the advancements, and therefore costs of treatments, rising is essentially a double whammy in turns of costs - and makes the costs explode exponentially. 

We have also seen the onset of ‘staffing’ companies that offer nurses and other medical personnel a way to choose working hours that is great for the staff, but extremely costly and expensive for the healthcare system and for the quality patients receive. It is natural that a doctor who is only there at the weekends in a hospital once a month, does not know the patient, and really just fills a gap. 

2️⃣ - Digital health and HealthTech is difficult and the most important quality required for innovation here is grit, determination and resilience 🦾

It is probably the most open secret out there that healthcare technology is extremely difficult to get right not just from a technological standpoint but getting and connecting with the right stakeholders is equally important. 

3️⃣ - AI in Healthcare has potential but we need to do the basics first. Adding more isolated systems into the already poorly integrated ecosystem is not going to work. First step is to build a new foundation 😉

In the time where OpenAi generated a huge AI interest and wave of applications, it also reached the healthcare technology industry. Having already had a strong view on AI and ML methodologies from Finance and when it made sense to actually apply the same can be in Healthcare technology. 

Maslow's pyramid of needs is used psychologically yet there is one that is based for data (link) and I can only agree that AI/ML is the cherry on top. You have to solve the basics first.

Without a question though, having a strong data foundation, and then applying AI to solve and research would be a game changer.

4️⃣ - Clinicians are being overlooked. They have the huge burden of seeing a lot of patients, and only have crippling systems supporting them. They spend up to 40% of their time doing administrative tasks and documentation 👨‍💻🥼

Built for management and not for staff that is healthcare software., We had a lot of people in the audience just nodding about the fact that nothing was designed for the actual professionals. We had observed this prior in the clinics and had been shocked (Sam wrote an article about this) - they don't even ask the staff who use it!

And after we got very interesting inputs from attendees that actually in major transformations projects they often didn't even have the end user on the list of people to understand requirements - and yes this is the reality in healthcare, and it is hard to believe. 


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