Healthcare is notoriously slow to change and accept new innovations compared to other industries. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic made adoption of technologies absolutely necessary in healthcare, and in implementation proved that it can offer some impressive outcomes, many healthcare organizations are hesitant to embrace new ideas. But why is it so? And what is it going to take to change this pattern? 


Before we deep dive into this dilemma, let’s examine a bit closer. Take, for example, the controversial Knees Over Toes Guy, Ben Patrick. His avant-garde philosophy and regimen for regaining and maintaining knee strength goes against absolutely everything a physical therapist would advise you to do. Yet, his program works! Ben has saved thousands of people’s aching and injured knees through his protocol. 


Ben’s training program has become wildly successful, yet his methodology (while scientifically sound) is still rejected by the traditional healthcare model. A huge factor that plays into this lack of adoption is Ben is considered a ‘black sheep’ of sorts. He was one random guy with a theory on how to improve knee health that tested it for years and went viral. This doesn’t exactly align with traditional medical research models.


The takeaway here is that innovation in healthcare should not have to take the form of Knees Over Toes Guy. Healthcare should not have to rely on wildcards who perform random tests and then expect everyone to immediately jump ship from what they were taught for years in school or their professional experience. That is sincerely not realistic given that healthcare is - and should be- based on highly regulated research.


Ultimately, in the words of Meta CIO, Tim Campos, “Data wins arguments”, and the same should be true in healthcare. Fortunately, healthcare stands at a huge turning point for supporting the ‘data wins arguments’ argument. Due to massive improvements in technology, namely digital records and Artificial Intelligence, healthcare now has access to incredible amounts of data that can be organized, sorted, and classified in myriad ways. This previously unheard of visibility into the operations of every sector of a healthcare entity is poised to transform the industry and how we evaluate innovations, from research to technology. In the future, this should make innovation in healthcare easier to adopt as the reasoning behind adoption will be backed by sound and objective assertions proven by data rather than subjective experiences and emotions. 


While we love to see and will always support the wild cards, the future of the healthcare industry simply cannot rest on these brave black sheep. Data will always win and it is the key to driving faster and more effective healthcare innovation forward.

Topics: Technology, Providers

Keenan Hartman

Keenan Hartman

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