Monday, March 28, 2011

Serious Games For Healthcare Design Beyond the Hospital


Serious Games challenging us to play a better healtcare system


Dr. Yan Chow, a pediatrician with Kaiser, demonstrates a videoconferencing system that would allow doctors to speak with patients in their homes. Last year, Kaiser Permanente delivered 5 million visits via videoconference (Skype), telephone, and email.

Via: Interactive Multimedia Technology Healthcare Design Gets Closer to Serious Games

As reported by Lynn Marentette today on her blog, the article For the Future of Health Care Design, Look Beyond the Hospital at http://www.fastcodesign.com/ is a must-read for anyone thinking about developing applications for healthcare professionals, clinics, hospitals, patients, etc. In her opinion, it is very important to look at the "Big Picture", especially for techies who are finding themselves taking on responsibilities related to information architecture in this field.

Serious Games Shifting Healthcare From A “Point Of Service” Clinical Model To An Ongoing Dialogue Between Patients And Their Providers
 
The authors refer to New York Times article - Disruptive Innovation, Applied to Healthcare – that states that “Healthcare hasn’t become affordable because it hasn’t yet gone through disruptive decentralization.
 
“The business models were all created decades ago, and acute disease drove those costs at the time,” says Steve Wunker, a senior partner at the consulting firm Innosight. “Most businesses in this industry are looking at their business model as entirely immutable. They’re looking for innovative offerings that fit this frozen model.”
 
Advances in technology and medical research are making it possible to envision an entirely new healthcare system that provides more individualized care without necessarily increasing costs. Ultimately, those therapies can be administered by nurse practitioners or others trained to handle routine ailments. The expensive “intuitive medicine” practiced by doctors trained to wade through a thicket of mysterious symptoms in search of an accurate diagnosis can then focus on those cases that truly require their services.
 
Using innovation management models previously applied to other industries, Clayton M. Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, argues in “The Innovator’s Prescription” that the concepts behind “disruptive innovation” can reinvent healthcare.
 
Disruption in healthcare entails moving the simplest procedures now performed in expensive hospitals to outpatient clinics, retail clinics, and homes.
 
By creating a continuum of care that follows patients wherever they go within an integrated system, says the Princeton University economist Uwe Reinhardt, care providers can stay on top of what preventive measures and therapies are most effective. Tests aren’t needlessly duplicated, competing medications aren’t prescribed by different doctors, and everyone knows what therapies a patient has received.
 
As an example, at Kaiser Permanente experimentation with new technologies and business models occurs at the Sidney R. Garfield Health Care Innovation Center in San Leandro, Calif. Kaiser opened the facility in 2006 to test such new technologies as a videoconferencing system linking health care professionals to patients in their homes. Another is a laser-projected keyboard to prevent the spread of germs via computer equipment.

 
A laser keyboard could be used in spaces too small for a conventional one and might help prevent the spread of infection among hospital workers.

Shifting healthcare from a “point of service” clinical model to an ongoing dialogue between patients and their providers is a profound societal and technological shift.

DR. JOHN H. COCHRAN, who as executive director of the Permanente Foundation is the highest-ranking physician among Kaiser’s 14,000-plus doctors, says information technology will play a crucial role in revolutionizing the country’s healthcare system.

“There’s a mythology that I.T. decreases the personal relationship between the physician and the patient,” he said. “In point of fact, it enhances it.”