Healthcare Technology Isn’t Late, But Its Customer Focus Is, Says Northwell CEO


It would be hard to find a health technology conference where a technologist does not criticize the health field for being late. But Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health rejects the idea that health technology is obsolete.

“Healthcare has been incredibly technologically advanced,” said Dowling. “If you go to one of our operating rooms today, it’s like Star Wars.”

Yesterday at Enterprise Ireland’s North America Healthcare Forum in Dublin, Ireland, Dowling cited dozens of technological advancements over the past 50 years that save lives every day.

But there is one key area where the industry lags: consumer-centric technologies. There is currently an increase in digital information available to the public. In the spring, Apple launched its health records feature, which gives consumers the ability to store their records on their iPhone.

“The link between healthcare and the consumer is late. Health care in general has never been consumer-centric the way it should. They’ve been patient-focused, ”Dowling told MobiHealthNews. “There is a subtle difference. Patients, when you think of a patient and when providers traditionally think of patients, they basically had this opinion, “I’m the doctor, I’m the nurse. I know everything and you are the patient and you are basically submissive. So I’ll tell you what to do. A consumer is warned. They have more access to information. They are more tech savvy. They Google everything. They have discussion forums. They arrive and went to see Dr Google. The healthcare sector is shifting from the purely traditional patient model to the patient / consumer world.

New technologies allow clients to do more at home, even check in and present themselves to providers with more informed questions, which has the potential to change the way patients are cared for.

“The consumer is going to drive what you do. It is not a question of asking the question “What is wrong with you?” But “What matters to you?” ”Said Dowling. “The patient will tell you. The doctor used to tell you that. This model is breaking down. It is changing the interaction between the two. We now have patients involved in their care.”

Dowling said consumers also determine how care is delivered. For example, young people are more involved in the digital space than older generations, and perhaps even more involved in virtual outlets than in person.

“The technology will connect. Today we are doing telemedicine, telestroke and telesi on a large scale, ”said Dowling. “Young people are more comfortable with the screen than they are in person.

As for the direction of business, he said he’s seeing more and more consumer-centric technologies, including home care products for patients. But it’s not just the patients that change, it’s the doctors too, and as young doctors start to practice, we may see a change in the way care is delivered.

“You sit down with a 65-year-old doctor, they don’t understand that. You sit down with a 40-year-old doctor, they understand, ”Dowling said.

Editor’s Note: This story is part of our coverage of the North America Healthcare Forum in Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Ireland invited MobiHealthNews to the event and paid for travel and accommodation costs. As always, MobiHealthNews maintains its editorial independence and has made no promises to Enterprise Ireland, including regarding the content or amount of coverage.


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