January 10, 2014

The Spirit of Innovation and the Future of Health Care

By Wyatt W. Decker, M.D.

Wyatt W. Decker, M.D.A new year is a time of hope and promise.

As 2014 begins to unfold, I’d like to devote this post to the spirit of innovation as it relates to the future of health care.

I was recently part of an Arizona Chamber of Commerce discussion with Dr. Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, where we reflected on creative advancements in health care taking place here in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

At the panel, I shared highlights of Mayo Clinic’s efforts to transform health care in the coming year and the decades beyond. These efforts include harnessing technologies in new ways to touch more lives and improve care for patients in our community and from across the nation and around the globe.

TeleconcussionThese efforts include our growing telemedicine program. Mayo’s telestroke program (where Mayo neurologists assess patients remotely via a robot) began as a research pilot in Arizona with the goal of collaborating with health care providers in rural locales that didn’t have stroke specialists on staff.  That initial pilot has now grown into a national program with specialized consults taking place as far as New Hampshire and Missouri. We are also sharing our medical expertise in the form of eConsults to patients, reducing the need for additional appointments or travel.

Mayo physicians are also utilizing technology in new ways to make themselves more accessible to helping patients. For example, our physicians are working with portable technology that enables them to securely view patient images and reports remotely and collaborate with other practitioners to provide a medical diagnosis from any location.

Telemedicine and SmartphoneSometimes technology is blamed for rising health care costs: but using the right technology in the right way can lower costs, and provide higher quality care in the process.

Have an idea or question to share? Please feel free to post one here. I welcome your feedback and questions and look forward to sharing more Mayo Clinic news and interacting with you in future posts.

Editor's noteWyatt W, Decker, M.D., is a vice-president of Mayo Clinic.

Tags: #futureofhealthcare, #FutureofHealthCare, Arizona, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Arizona State University, ASU, Decker, Dr. Wyatt Decker, Future of Health Care, Future of Health Care, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Michael Crow, Patient Care, telemedicine, telerobot, telestroke, telestroke network, Wyatt W. Decker

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