Healthcare providers are looking to medical devices to play a new role in hospital care, providing a whole-patient view of health through technologies that talk to each other and help clinicians make decisions about treatment.
Dr. Peter Pronovost, a critical care physician and anesthesiologist as well as Johns Hopkins Medicine senior vice president for patient safety & quality, told MassDevice.com that healthcare has yet to make the kind of progress innovative technologies have brought to other industries.
"Ironically, healthcare has invested significantly in technology, but it’s the only industry for which technology hasn’t helped productivity or safety," Pronovost told us. "In part, that’s because we’ve invested in individual devices, but we haven’t looked at integrating them as systems."
Our conversation with Pronovost followed his appearance at the Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in Laguna Beach, Calif., last Sunday and Monday, where he and other healthcare stakeholders asked medical device makers to pledge to open up their devices to share data and develop interoperability around patient care and monitoring.
Nine prominent medical device companies signed the pledge by the end of the conference, including leaders from GE Healthcare Systems (NYSE:GE), Smiths Medical, Zoll Medical (NSDQ:ZOLL) and Fujifilm Holdings (TSE:4901).
Pronovost told us this week that companies taking steps to advance integrated care could gain an advantage over those that keep their devices closed off.
"Companies that share data will be able to demonstrate much more clearly to the marketplace that they’re adding value, they’re improving qualty and they’re driving down costs," Pronovost said. "The box you sell isn’t where the money is – the money is coming from these analytics, where you’re sharing data, and if you’re not willing to do that you’re losing a whole lot of value."