Highlights from Healthcare Unbound: The Power of Open Networks to Drive Needed Innovation

[This is a guest post by Ryan Frederick, founder and Principal of Point Forward Solutions, a strategic consulting and financial advisory firm dedicated to Seniors Housing & Care and related Health Care Services industries. Prior to founding Point Forward Solutions, Ryan was Senior Vice President at Erickson Living. Ryan can be reached at rfrederick@pointforwardsol.com and @ryanefrederick.]

This past week San Francisco hosted the 9th annual Healthcare Unbound Conference & Exhibition, an event to help stimulate continued innovation and collaboration in the health care space.  Many of the themes and content apply to Aging2.0.

One of the key themes was the power of the open network.  Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis), Principal of Better Health Technologies, gave one of the keynotes and stressed the importance of promoting open networks to help stimulate continued and accelerated innovation.   Health Care IT needs to model its approach after Apple, he argues, in the way the company created application programming interfaces (APIs) for other developers and innovators to build on their platform.  Today’s silos and closed networks slow progress.  For example, Vince pointed out that many EHR platforms were first built in a different era, one in which collaboration was not as valued.  He anticipates a shift from “hoarding to sharing”, a shift from closed systems to involuntary openness to strategic openness.  Farzad Mostashari (@Farzad_ONC), National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS, furthered Vince’s points and suggested that government can play a critical role in helping create these standards, especially if strategic openness is not readily and immediately adopted.

There was a sense from the keynote speakers and various attendees that the time is now for change.  It’s no longer about the technologies – though advances continue to happen at an accelerated rate as Jay Srini (@healthtech), Chief Strategist of SCS Ventures pointed out in her keynote – but about people and collaboration and identifying the most compelling business models and most compelling customer experiences.  It’s an exciting time and one ripe for change.  Let’s do this.

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