July 2018 Special Issue 3 Business SCAN
Whilst some remain reluctant toward change or fear the prospect of having to embrace ever evolving technological advancements, there is little denying that digital technologies represent a promising avenue for future professional innovation. If used effectively, digital technologies could play a key role in enhancing the quality and proficiency within the healthcare sector. As such, we hope this Hot Topic will capture your interest regarding how digital technologies may help revolutionise curren
The value of technology in healthcare
In recognition of continued advancements in digital technology, Harvard Business Review (2018) investigated the potential value associated with the implementation of technologies with the healthcare sector.
In so doing, several practical technology-based applications were identified. These include: aiding preliminary diagnosis of health-related issues; helping with issues associated with administrative work overview; virtual assisted nursing; and robotic assisted surgery. The adoption of these technologies could not only prove beneficial regarding enhancing the efficiency of specific working practices (particularly in regard to speed and accuracy), they could also result in significant financial savings (up to $150 billion in annual savings based on statistics in the U.S healthcare sector).
A recent report from Reform Health, in association with the NHS, drew similar conclusions and provided a list of recommendations relating to how advancements in technology should be embraced in an effort to improve diagnostics, treatments, disease management and self-care. With a reported £210 million budget proposedly being made available to aid advancements in relation to early diagnosis and precision medicine, it is becoming increasingly apparent technology represents big business in the healthcare sector both on a national and global scale.
Assessing the Next Big Thing
Organisational leaders frequently hear about new technologies and innovations that can improve their businesses. The challenge is clearly not about having enough innovation options to consider: rather it is about how to discern between the abundance of promising new technologies versus potential duds, as well as knowing when to invest – is it now or in the future?
To avoid getting lost in the hype of new technologies and innovations, leaders have to be sure that they are focusing on the “next big thing”, not the “next big sell”. Experts agree that leaders need to practise mindfulness (not mindlessness), while organisations as a whole need to “know themselves better”. Organisational self-awareness can be a powerful advantage: it not only helps steer companies in adopting the right innovation, it can also improve the planning and implementation of all major initiatives.
Ask yourselves these questions
- Does the technology have more than one name?
If the industry can’t agree on a name for a new technology, you should be wary. Agreed-on terms are essential to making a technology workable.
- Is there competition?
If there is more than one provider, this is generally a positive sign. Even if one provider dominates the market, the mere presence of more than one credible contender often suggests that the category will gain momentum.
- What does it do?
No sensible person or company buy something before clearly understanding its purpose. If you keep reading and listening and still don’t get what the technology aims to do, there’s a good chance others won’t get it either.
- What kind of stories are you reading and hearing about it?
Be wary of new technologies that don’t have clear, verifiable success stories attached. But also, don’t get blindsided by success stories: seek out disconformity evidence such as horror stories that signal the difficulties of using or selling a new technology, which could lead to its ultimate failure.
- Has anyone made a commitment?
In the world of technology and IT, network effects are important: if you don’t hear about others pursuing or adopting it, or if the news on a vendor’s website about the product seems old, you may be looking at a loser.
Sources: Brokaw, L. (2012) Five Questions to Separate “The Next Big Thing” From the Lemon, SMR, Jan; Swanson, E. B. (2012) The Manager’s Guide to IT Innovation Waves, SMR, Winter; Fu, B. K. (2018) 10 Promising AI Applications in Health Care. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/05/10-promising-ai-applications-in-health-care; Reform Health (2018) Thinking on its own: AI in the NHS. Retrieved from http://www.reform.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AI-in-Healthcare-report_.pdf
Ask yourself five questions to assess whether you really are looking at the next big thing.
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