Friday, June 25, 2010

Who put the "I" in Innovation....

It seems anytime you put an "I" in front of a product it can represent a number of different things.  In healthcare it means innovation, interaction, intelligence, and integral.  The goal however is to make sure that it does not become irrelevant, inferior, or illogical. 

The I-phone has spurned a number of discussions because of it's innovative nature.  The product has been built on a platform that allows everyone to create their own "Aps" - in my world that means design their workflow in a way that works for their unit not generically designed to work in all applications. (just a quick warning that can be bad also)

The flexibility of the platform that is open to large and small organizations (and individuals) is the best way to drive new ways to solve problems.  Let's face it - it's not always the big guys with all the ideas.  It's also not always those of us who break out and build a business - more times than not it's the people who live in the situations everyday. Therefore, the intelligence in the product is built by the users, and the flexibility allows it to become an integral part of the workflow and daily life.  So integral often times we overlook product "issues" such as durability and compatibility with infrastructure.

The challenge will be how do we make sure a strong "I" shaped platform does not become irrelevant and illogical.   The best way to approach this is to make sure that it's the workflow that drives the innovation and not the innovation.  Cool - for Cool sake - is not so Cool.  This is not meaning you need to run out and hire a Sphere3esque firm to document and help design your wireless device workflow - it just means if you are not currently doing it - why not? What innovative value are you missing?

The I-Phone is driving people to design applications that can be used in the healthcare space - in my world that's for automation of alerts to a wireless device.   Amcom releasing software that will automate information to the Iphone is interesting, but as you saw in my previous post about Voalte that application for clinical alarms to the Iphone is still hard for me to accept.  Durability has to be in the decision process for a clinical device not just innovation.  Also as we drive more information to a single device are we really making the best decision?  It sounds logical - don't get me wrong - one device that can get alerts, call the on-call doc, use decision making software, access facebook, see information on a med record, etc sounds great but is it really the best choice?  (I am throwing that out there for interaction sake because honestly I am not sure - I see benefits but I also see a lot of limitations due to the critical nature of alarm automation)

The device has more application to those who work outside the hospital, like a doctor but then the question becomes what information does he need that requires integration to the hospital.....this I know, but I will let  you ask me to find out.

From a market perspective - it's only good news to have multiple competitors in the on coming tornado that will occur with smart phones. 

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Kourtney Govro