Prognos CEO: Healthcare Is Overdue For Innovation Disruption

So a lot of what you see is really around like cloud computing and user experience. That’s kind of where most of the noise has been so far. But I also think that they can underestimate the complexity of the healthcare system. So I think their learning curve is really trying to understand how healthcare works. And it’s not like you throw an app out there and you’re going to get all this immediate adoption. If you’re dealing with, like, healthcare organizations, it’s cumbersome, it takes time, the sales cycles are really long. It takes 12 to 18 months to sign a client because you have to go through privacy, HIPAA, security audits, all that stuff. You can shorten this period of time by sending out HIPAA compliant faxes. But having said that, there is a lot of opportunity.

What are some of the big challenges that Prognos and others in this space are facing?

Regulation is definitely one. So, I think we can move a lot faster. The technologies and probably adoption could happen a lot faster but we have to work within the regulatory environment. And as I said before, it’s there for a good reason because it’s to make sure that from a safety perspective, that’s why they’re there. But some of these regulations need to be updated because the world’s changing at a faster and faster pace and I think they need to be updated and more current to where we are today. So, that’s one challenge.

I think the other big challenge is that most of the healthcare workforce, you know, most doctors that are practicing today were trained like 20 years ago. And there’s so much innovation. There are new diagnostic tests coming out, like, every week. And how do you sort of educate the healthcare workforce on the latest technologies that can help patients today? The adoption becomes really slow because you have to re-educate the current workforce to know about sort of how new innovations can really help patients. So, I think that’s kind of another challenge.

The third is just the amount of information, the amount of data in healthcare coming from everything from like finances and transactions, the amount of clinical information with all these genomics and proteomics, and then all the user-generated data and there’s like social and economic data, you know, we’re starting to link all that together to get a better understanding of what’s happening. But just that amount of data is increasing very quickly. And then to be able to link all of that in like a way where there’s privacy protection and all that. And then normalizing and harmonizing all that data so it can talk to each other. Those are another sort of set of challenges.

My last question for you, Sundeep, is what advice do you have to CEOs in healthcare?

The first thing I would say is that it’s a very exciting time to be in healthcare, right? So, like, I think having been in this sector for 20 years…there’s lots of opportunity. So I think, I would say for new companies and innovators, it’s a very exciting time. My advice to the innovators is you have to be patient, things do take longer, plan for everything taking twice as long as you think it’s going to take because it’s healthcare. And like we said, regulations and all that stuff, it takes longer. And so plan for that.

And then for the companies that have been in the market for a long time, I would say that look, there’s going to be a lot of change coming. And I think, be open to the change and the innovation and embrace it because we’re going to see a lot of disruption in the next 5 to 10 years.

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