Welcome once again to the Geeky Gynaecologist Glog.

Growing up I loved watching the old western cowboy movies. The most common theme would be around satellite families on horseback or caravans, daring the challenges of the rough outback, smitten by the gold rush. I can’t help but get the same impression looking at the number of diverse business solution companies making huge efforts to gain a strong footprint in the digital healthcare industry. 

The digital health market is set to exceed $379 billion by 2024, according to a new report by Global Market Insights[i]. The report further highlights the key enablers for this. Extensive application of remote patient monitoring services and favourable government initiatives should help build a sophisticated healthcare infrastructure for digital health market growth. For instance, HITECH Act has promoted digital health systems by funding hospitals and physicians in the US. 

This brings us to the topic of transformational change in healthcare settings to adapt to adoption models. Though anecdotally reported, there is still a significant number of die-hard traditionist clinicians who think disruptive technology is a threat which will take over the doctor-patient face to face quality engagement. I wonder what their predecessors thought when the technology-based innovations of their time such as the cardiotocograph or the uterine artery embolization techniques, were introduced. 

With “Pepper the robot” at HIMSS Orlando 2019

The pace at which technology is growing, digressing in many different directions, there is bound to be, at all times, a disruptive innovation around the corner. I strongly feel that we should actually include a few learning objectives around basics of the current healthcare delivery related technology and change management. The latter may be taught more robustly in business and management curriculum, is unfortunately very thinly represented in undergraduate medical courses. This is despite the fact that by the time a medical student completes the 5-6-year undergraduate course, there may be some significant changes in delivery and practice of healthcare. 

The Geeky Gynaecologist believes that the three key skills in the practice of medicine are situation awareness, critical thinking, and timely decision making (all by the way assisted with digital innovations). I would think a close fourth would be effective handling of self and team going through transformational changes. 

Cynics may come up with many examples of change under the label of transformation leading to outcomes furthest away from what was desired. Being an optimist, I would argue that one of the key reasons for such plans to be suboptimal in their results is a lack of meaningful clinical engagement. I often sit in meetings where there may be a thin clinician presence, who unfortunately act as prophets of doom with examples that may be multi-factorial in their poor outcomes, being misquoted as a direct result of a disruptive innovation that was introduced. 

We, the clinical body needs to take a deep dive in solutions which will help us to become clinically more effective in our diagnosis and management, reduce harm and ensure the patient journey (which includes doctor-patient face time) is excellent.  

Signing out till next time,

The Geeky Gynaecologist.

[i]Global Digital Health Market will achieve 25.9% CAGR to cross $379 billion by 2024. PRESS RELEASE PR Newswire.Jan. 19, 2018, 08:10 AM.https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/global-digital-health-market-will-achieve-25-9-cagr-to-cross-379-billion-by-2024-1013308867

Author Bio

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Naila is a senior clinician affiliated with the NHS for almost 26 years. Her career has evolved not only in her specialty (Gynaecology) but also in medical education, patient safety and informatics in healthcare. She has held several senior leadership posts such as Associate Dean London Deanery, Associate Director for Medical Education and Lead for OBGYN undergraduate course at Imperial College. She is a champion for embracing technology in the delivery of high standards of healthcare and is a frequent speaker on disruptive technologies and their place in futuristic healthcare. Recently she was interviewed by HIMMS TV at the UK eHealth week, where she delivered two talks which were very well received.