Posted in Perspective

Interoperability can fuel innovation necessary to transform healthcare

Chris Nerney
Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer |
Interoperability can fuel innovation necessary to transform healthcare

The healthcare industry has undergone serious disruption over the past few years due to implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the start of a broad (if uneven) transition toward value-based care.
But in a Forbes column, former Apple CEO John Sculley and Bruce Broussard, president and chief executive of Humana, argue for even more disruption to healthcare through the use of technology as a catalyst for innovation. While stressing the importance of providers being able to engage with patients through technology, they add:
“It’s also important to note that without connectivity or data driven by interoperability, it will be difficult to bring the patient and physician closer together.”
Sculley and Broussard urge a “call to action to leverage the transformational power of technology” to drive behavioral change in patients and better align provider incentives to value. Interoperability, they say, is critical to this effort.
When technology can begin to help support proactive prevention, behavior and lifestyle changes, a physician needs a real-time, holistic view of the patient to help she or he chart a course to better health,” they write. “This holistic approach is achieved through interoperability, which harnesses data analytics, mobile devices and other technology to achieve a deeper level of personalization. This personalization is essential for ensuring the effectiveness of the holistic approach enabled by interoperability.”
Specifically, the co-authors recommended the continued implementation of “open, standards-based application programming interface (API) protocols such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) to support healthcare alliance efforts such as CommonWell.”
In addition, they write, value-based payments should be linked to provider use of interoperable healthcare information systems.
“Only through an integrated healthcare ecosystem with changes in behaviors, data analytics, interoperability and aligning incentives can we disrupt healthcare for the better,” they conclude. “The time to do so is now.”