Report: technology, innovation needed to transform healthcare

May 27, 2010

Healthcare reform can "catalyze healthcare innovation that improves quality and reduces cost, if only investors, policy-makers, and companies rise to the challenge before us," according to a new report by healthcare venture capital firm Psilos Group.

Healthcare reform can "catalyze healthcare innovation that improves quality and reduces cost, if only investors, policy-makers, and companies rise to the challenge before us," according to a new report by healthcare venture capital firm Psilos Group. The report calls for accelerated development and adoption of innovative solutions and technologies to deliver real value for each healthcare dollar spent by the federal and state governments, U.S. corporations, and individual healthcare consumers.

"Transformative change in our healthcare system is required, and this can only be achieved through innovation and the adoption of new ideas.  We cannot simply go on investing in incremental changes to approaches that have failed repeatedly such as: classic disease management, standard insurance models and traditional fee-for-service medicine.  If done well, these disruptive models of healthcare services and new medical technologies will be the foundation for opportunities to create new businesses based on 21st century technology," the report states.

The Psilos team, led by senior managing member and CEO Albert Waxman, Ph.D., also included the following insights as part of its second annual outlook on healthcare economics and innovation:

Expanded adoption and investment activity in healthcare information technology can bring about the much-needed innovations to put the U.S. healthcare economy on track for a successful future.

Innovative solutions can improve information flow to help care administrators avoid costly, tragic mistakes in inpatient, ambulatory, and post-acute care.

Technology can help improve care management to prevent costly procedures and encourage and reward consumers to lead more healthful lives. These efforts would help prevent and manage chronic illness, which accounts for 78 percent of healthcare expenses.

Improved diagnostic solutions and healthcare management programs will help control increasing costs associated with diabetes, which costs an estimated $170 billion annually in the United States.

Continued innovation around technologies that help identify diseases earlier will have an important financial and clinical effect with high-cost, high-morbidity diseases.

New, minimally invasive surgical technologies will enable care-givers and hospitals to provide treatment options that reduce inpatient use and result in fewer negative side effects and better clinical outcomes.