History gives us a clear picture of what happens when an industry gets too comfortable and ignores innovation.
Taxi companies have been turned upside down by Uber and Lyft. Brick-and-mortar retail businesses are closing – unable to compete with Amazon. Kodak film and Blockbuster stores have disappeared.
Health care is also experiencing disruption as some of the nation’s largest technology companies have recently announced health care initiatives. Apple is pulling medical record info into phones and using their watches to help people track and manage their health. Amazon is partnering with other companies to improve health care and lower costs. And CVS is buying Aetna, combining the drugstore company with one of the nation’s largest health insurers.
No one knows what health care will look like in 10 or 20 years, but I know UCHealth must be at the forefront of transformation, which is why innovation is one of our key strategic pillars. Our work is focused on three areas:
- Medical treatments, including research and clinical trials
- Health care delivery, including virtual health, efficiency and patient safety
- Patient experience, including virtual reality, mobile applications, and other ways to support our patients and visitors
UCHealth is already seeing innovation success in many areas. DocLine is coordinating patient transfers, physician consult requests and LifeLine transports across our multistate region. Online scheduling and Virtual Visits are becoming more popular. New decision support tools for physicians are being launched in Epic. The UCHealth mobile app now has almost 50,000 users. The Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine and their BioBank are making important breakthroughs. And our Virtual ICU and Virtual Sitter programs are improving safety for our patients.
We have many new, promising endeavors including a pilot program for GPS mobile navigation to help patients find a parking spot and make their way inside, directly to their clinic location. Another pilot is testing a “chat bot” which allows patients to speak to UCHealth and receive information through smart speakers. These technologies offer extraordinary opportunities to improve patient experience.
Another way we’re focusing on the future is by opening a collaborative innovation center at a new building in Denver.
The Catalyst Health-Tech Innovation building will bring together more than 50 organizations – many of which are innovative health-focused startups – to work together, share ideas, experiment and innovate. UCHealth will have an innovation lab at the site to test new ideas, and we’ll help incubate and mentor startup companies.
While we might not know what health care will look like in 10 or 20 years, UCHealth’s focus on innovation will ensure we’re shaping our own future.
As always, thank you for your commitment to our patients each and every day.