Technology, the transition for sustainable care
Technology will transform the way healthcare is delivered.
The question is, which technology will also help us keep our health care system affordable and accessible for everyone in the future? The point of innovative technology is that it enables us to do things fundamentally different. In order to have a sustainable system, technology must:
- Support the independence and self-reliance of people so they can remain in their own homes longer and participate in their communities.
- Enable the delivery of professional care closer to home. For example, chronic diseases should not be managed in hospitals or other institutions if care can be provided in their closer to or even at home. It is better for the patients and better for the costs.
- Allow professionals to deliver better care to more people using less resources. We know health care budgets are limited, but an even scarcer resource is the health care professional that delivers the best possible care to patients in need. Technology can help us use the limited resources in a better way.
Room for improvement
The impact of innovation and technology is not predictable. There is no guarantee that technology will lead to the desired outcomes in the real world.
We can however focus our efforts on abovementioned transitions in health care and assess whether there is room for improvement that will move us towards a more sustainable health care.
It is clear that nobody can do it alone. In order to impact health care through innovative technology, people and institutions from different backgrounds need to interact in a productive way.
We need innovation ecosystems that nurture collaboration between our best scientists and professionals from industry and healthcare. Furthermore, these ecosystems need to reach out to their environment, to patients, healthcare insurers and government to succeed.