This white paper captures the highlights of a presentation at HIMSS12 delivered by Eric Dishman, General Manager of Health Strategy and Solutions at Intel Corporation, and Jason Hwang, MD, executive director of healthcare at the Innosight Institute. It focuses on how IT can introduce "disruptive innovation" and help healthcare facilities meet the challenges of the transforming the U.S. health sector. For example, many healthcare technologies, products and services currently support the general hospital. The challenge for disruptive innovation — or decentralization — is to provide more affordable access to more people, applying existing hospital-centric tools and technologies to the outpatient setting.
While traditional technology developers focus on their own efficiency and profitability, disruptive innovators build products that are more convenient to use, easier to access or more affordable to a new set of users who either didn't have the expertise or funds to buy existing products. As history has shown, new companies lead each wave of decentralization because disruptive innovation occurs in the marketplace's outer tiers. These innovators continue to improve their products and eventually steal market share away from the incumbents. In the computing world, the path of decentralization began when disruptive innovators built technologies that focused on functionality tradeoffs in favor of convenience and price point. So from the expensive mainframe computers that only a small specialized group of users could operate followed the mini computer, personal computer, laptops and then tablets and smartphones.
Leveraging existing technologies can help disrupt the mainframe healthcare model. For example, more efficiencies and cost savings can be gleaned from the convergence of IT grids that support different industries such as entertainment, transportation, healthcare and energy into one multi-industry IT infrastructure. "We're got to make sure that we're driving requirements for these grids based on the healthcare paradigms that we think are going to be occurring in the community," Dishman said. Instead of focusing predominantly on broadband requirements for streaming movies to home television, for example, we should build in capabilities to enable rich HD video conferencing between clinicians and with the patient and family caregivers.