Kategoria: Yleinen

Virtual and remote health care are here to stay

This blog writing is the second of the writings that are published before the digital wellbeing sprint takes place. The blog reveals the thoughts of central figures in the industry regarding trends and changes taking place in health care sector.

An interview with Päivi Salo, IT and marketing director at Pohjola Hospital took place to further understand what are the digital initiatives in healthcare and also to hear about her thoughts about the future.

Päivi has made a robust career in health care since 2014. Central to her career has been working with digital initiatives and projects.

Digital healthcare of today

My heart beats for digital health, she states. The world has changed after the outbreak of COVID-19, and the pace of digital health development will continue to speed up. Service providers in both public and private sector have provided virtual and remote health services for many years, but due to the upbreak of the pandemic, the demand for these services has advanced a lot. Since the demand has grown, also the use areas of remote and virtual health services has broadened. Now a wide range of health issues can be seen to virtually and remotely. It is not any more about treating the most simplest infections for instance. 

                                                    ‘Customers today are really accepting virtual health care’ –Päivi Salo

What has changed in health care to make these digital leaps possible? To begin with, technology to support remote and virtual health care has been developed already years ago. What really has changed is that customers are also more and more accepting virtual appointments with doctors. Customers are also getting used to discussing with chatbots in connection to other services, this is also making the adoptation of chatbots easier in healthcare. It has to be remembered that privacy is respected in the form of legislation very highly. This is also setting the pace of digital services in healthcare.

What are the trends in health care?

What does the future for digital health care look like? Päivi says that she sees a couple of things happening already in the international arena

  1. Artificial intelligence generating data to support health care professionals in clinical diagnostics and decision support. This enables the care providers to focus more on the patient. This is the area where most of the development is happening and new use cases are appearing frequently.
  2. Digital leap in remote and virtual health care services has already been taken and it is becoming mainstream in various areas of healthcare. There’s no turning back even after the pandemics. These leaps happen quite suddenly though. 3 years ago, we were not ready to use chat bots, now we love them. In health care as well in the future.
  3. Digital health applications give customers access to their own data. By getting access to all the information of your own health, patients are empowered to take care of their own health, which will bring better outcome of the care.

’Digital leaps happen very suddenly’

Päivi has a good view of the international arena. I asked her that how is Finland doing in the comparison. Top of the game, she says. Päivi is a part of HIMSS Future 50 community of leaders, and therefore has a solid understanding of international innovations and development in the health care sector.

Meaning of design in Pohjola Hospital

We also discussed the meaning of design for health care. Päivi states that being customer centric is in their DNA. Pohjola Hospital is rather a young organization and their culture is very patient-oriented. All development and process improvements start with the customer need and so do digital health initiatives as well. Service designers are utilized in these projects as to bring a holistic view about the problem that needs to be solved.  She reminds as well that in the middle of all development efforts, it is important to have a view of the bigger picture and make sure that you are not solving the symptom, but tackling the root causes.

Tips for the sprint

As a tip for a succesful sprint Päivi mentiones that the customers and health care professionals must be kept at the center. Always keep in mind that digital health solutions are used only if they add value to the users. So designing added value to the customer is the key to success. An above all, have fun and celebrate also the small wins on the way!

Writer of the blog is Hanna Lumenkoski, an MBA student in Haaga-Helia. She is a facilitator in the Digital Wellbeing Sprint 2020 and holds a position in marketing in the sector of information management solutions. She is also immensly interested in improving customer experience and success of businesses through design thinking.

THREE POINTS FOR THE START

This blog marks the start of a series of Design Wellbeing Sprint blogs that introduce trends in the wellbeing start up field as well as companies that operate in that field. Later we will also give you insights of the Design Wellbeing Sprint which takes place May 22-29, 2020. First in line is Lauri Kuronen from Health Capital Helsinki.

Tell us a little about yourself and the company which you represent.

Hi, my name is Lauri Kuronen. I work as a Business Advisor in Health Capital Helsinki. We’re a publicly funded project and our goal is to build the greatest health capital: we boost collaboration within the Greater Helsinki health ecosystem, enable innovation-driven companies to grow and attract foreign companies to establish their businesses.

Before Health Capital Helsinki, I worked 8 years in MedTech and Health sectors in different positions in several SMEs providing new digital solutions. My heart beats for the start-ups and entrepreneurship. I work closely with start-ups and try to help them to grow bigger and better. I’ll try to open doors for them in our network and for example matchmake them with the right investors in Finland or abroad. I’m also an operative team member in Health Incubator Helsinki, a unique three-year incubator program for research-based health sector teams and start-ups.

What are the main technology trends in wellbeing field currently? In your opinion, what is the most significant of the trends? Why?

I want to highlight two trends that are rising at the moment. These two trends are often combined when developing new innovations. First is the digital health solutions where the healthcare transformation is usually done with a novel software solution. For example, many care processes can be renewed and done with application where the care pathway is digitalized and standardized. The user interface simplifies and intensifies the information flow between hospital, healthcare professionals and the patient.

Second is the usage of the healthcare data from biobanks, clinical data and genetic information. The data collected from different sources can be used to create algorithms that can identify risk patients with different illnesses and predict for example epidemics. The solutions and approaches will make treatments increasingly more cost-efficient, successful and affordable to patients.

What kind of opportunities these trends open to Finnish companies in that field? Do you have an example in mind?

Healthcare as a sector is quite old-fashioned and taking new solutions into the use will need time, validation and clinical evidence. The most successful companies collaborate and co-create their solutions together with healthcare professionals where the development is done from a need perspective.

One great example is Buddy Healthcare, a Helsinki based digital health company. Their solution is mobile care coordination and patient engagement platform which solves the most significant problems hospitals, clinics and patients are facing in surgeries: patient adherence to treatment, late cancellations and no-shows, administrative work and care quality. They platform is used from pre-hospital to post-hospital phase by patients, hospital and healthcare professionals where all the needed information and communications is done through the platform. Their latest version is used to track Covid-19 patient symptoms when the patient is at homecare.

Could you please give our DWS student participants three points for the development process in the design week.

Always start the development process from the need perspective, in the end this creates the most value. Unfortunately, the development process starts often from the solution point-of-view where during the process the customer needs won’t be taken into consideration. There are several ways of collecting customer information and how understanding of customers can be built through this. My experiences are that the sooner you involve the end-user to the development process, the easier it is to get the best insight and knowledge and, in the end, a happy customer.

Don’t assume, ask for a help! It’s very risky but so human to make assumptions for example of the customer’s need or market entry-strategy. There have been entrepreneurs forever and many have succeeded or failed with their business. Usually people are very keen on sharing the information and learnings to others, you just have to ask them. I’ve learned that opening your mouth and asking from the more experienced people would have saved me from many mistakes concerning how to run a company or starting a new product development project.

Be agile and be ready for pivoting. When developing a new solution or running a start-up company will be different compared to more stable business. Usually in some phase the development process won’t proceed as planned, this can be due to some technical difficulties or changed market environment. So, don’t be afraid to change plans and try something new if the old doesn’t work. Try to think the situations as a continues learning experience through The OODA loop cycle (observe–orient–decide–act).

And lastly, always stay positive and enjoy the ride! If there are not any new development projects or start-ups, the world won’t progress.

Lauri Kuronen will give a speech concerning further digital wellbeing technology/future trends in the Digital Wellbeing Sprints opening day May 22th, 2020.

Interview was done by Pirjo Valpas, M.Sc. / Facilitator in Design Wellbeing Sprint 2020. Pirjo is currently studying Service Design degree in Laurea University of Applied Science and has background in media.

”One of the best courses during my studies!”

Tiina Huhtanen is a nursing student from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. She participated in the Digital Wellbeing Sprint in 2019 and told us about her experiences about it. According to her, the course was intensive and educational, and students learned a lot during a short time.

“I met people from different fields and made contacts. It was one of the best courses during my studies! I remember the encouraging atmosphere and excellent team spirit”, Huhtanen says.

According to her, the days were intensive but interesting, and time flied.

”The best thing about the course was to change information and skills multidisciplinary with students from other fields. Also, the possibility to solve real problems in cooperation with people from real companies was amazing. All the time I had the feeling that we have a common goal. We also had a great team spirit that helped us reach that goal.”

Tiina says that Digital Wellbeing Sprint is an excellent course for students from all fields. Different digital solutions will be present in all fields if not now, then in the future. She encourages all to participate in the course if possible.

“In addition, the course was a good chance to brush up my English-speaking skills – easily and without pressure. Warm recommendation for all the students!”, Huhtanen says.

What are the possible Futures of Digital Wellbeing?

On Friday the 10th of May our participant teams will be faced with interesting questions that take them further away from today. The theme of the day is ”Futures of Digital Wellbeing”. 

We are used to talking about the unforeseen future. Can there be many futures? Mikko Dufva from Sitra will shed light to the question, why it’s important to consider different options of the future. You can use iconvert.media.

”When thinking about the future, one should ask loads of different questions, such as ´What is desirable and for whom´, ´What can we do´ and ´What is uncertain´ ”, he says. 

What seems odd for today, will be normal for tomorrow’s people. 

We have our eyes on the variety of opportunities that the future has to offer. However, we cannot forget the other side of the coin either. Visioning a better future means making choices. 

”When interpreting weak signals and challenging assumptions about digital wellbeing services for the future we might come across questions like what is a human and who decides in the future and how.” This is important for your Web Site.

How the future is already being planned

In addition to Mikko Dufva’s presentation the day will also include speakers that tell us about current and future digital solutions that are being used or planned in the field of health and wellbeing as we speak.

The program of the day takes place in Terkko Health Hub. Terkko is a startup community, a co-working area and an event space focused on health and life sciences. It’s a place for all health enthusiasts to build amazing businesses and projects together. Located in the heart of Helsinki’s medical campus, it is the junction to the university hospital HUS, the Faculty of Medicine of Helsinki University and HiLIFE, the Helsinki Institute of Life Science.

Writer: Satu Ryynänen, DWS Tutor