The Future of Global Healthcare Innovation

July 15, 2011 By Aminda

The race is on to improve healthcare systems and there are plenty of opportunities for innovators to get involved.

Private-Government Connections

In the U.S., a private sector-government partnership called Health 2.0  is focused on using government data sets to build apps that will make information more accessible, encouraging disease prevention and improving the quality of health care.    

There are several ways to participate. Health 2.0 sponsors events such as online code-a-thons and in person conferences. Upcoming conferences will be held in San Francisco in September and Berlin in October.An organization can use Health 2.0 to sponsor either an online or live challenge to develop a program, such as Food Swapper, which allows users to find healthier alternatives to their favorite foods. Those with technology or health care experience can enlist a team and compete in a challenge, perhaps winning a trip to Washington D.C. for helping the Environmental Protection Agency develop an app to help communities make more informed decisions about environmental impacts.

Empowering End Users

One trend sparked by the increase in accessibility of health care tools and information is that of DIY health care. A recent Washington Post article outlined some of the major players contributing to this global trend, which was a featured topic at a conference in France that brings together innovators from around the world to explore how digital technologies are impacting the future not only health care but in all fields.

The article also features an interview explaining that DIY health care does not mean that patients act in isolation but rather that both the patient and the doctor are empowered by access to more information. The patient, along with the primary care doctor, nurses and specialists act as a virtual team, resulting in a more efficient, integrated health plan.

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