THE BLOG

How Innovation Ecosystems Can Help Fix Healthcare

02/14/2014 07:51 pm ET | Updated Apr 16, 2014

Healthcare is in a crazy state of flux right now. Collaboration is still a foreign concept to those working in and around the establishment of hospitals, government, insurance and adjacent industries. Collaboration, however, is a keystone in building highly coherent innovation ecosystems.

As you probably know, health policies directly impact social conditions, both in the US and globally. Ineffective health policies can lead to poor health, which then leads to poor social conditions and ultimately worsening health for the population at large. This cyclical relationship can be seen all over the world.

Here in the U.S., ever changing mandates in reform, confusion with the public on insurance coverage, a shrinking primary care physician issue, and increasing costs around chronic diseases has many healthcare executives up all night trying to preserve their piece of the pie.

From an innovation perspective, this chaos is a dream! The perfect storm! A serendipitous blending of the crumbling of old business models combined with simple economic models of supply and demand! What a wonderful opportunity to create new ideas to change the way people consume healthcare in the future and to collaborate to make it happen!

Technology, especially mobile, will allow people from anywhere in the world to access care, one of the leading determinates in global population health.

The social impact of health will not be determined exclusively through technology, but also in collaboration around how to make knowledge and action steps easy to access in and around health. Technology has enabled, at internet speed and scale, the ability for an individual to seek and share advice about their health, and the health of loved ones. Helping with health advice is engrained in all cultures and a consumer's home computer, cell phone and wearable computers will be important data collection tools which can then communicate with clinicians or perhaps an online analytics engine in your own home.

Consumers are expected to seek out answers independently. Whether being a suburban mom in the states, or a mom in a herding village in Asia--each wants to manage their child's flu symptoms. Everyone, regardless of culture, age, is looking for simplicity and answers to their problems, immediately, whether it is from a health expert or peer-to-peer network.

Healthcare might be in a crazy place right now, but it is certain to change into something different than we have today. The Global Innovation Summit, hosted next week in San Jose, will offer the opportunity to engage global innovators on how to build new businesses in this emerging consumer health market. This conference teaches what every health stakeholder needs to know -- how to build a solid foundation for collaboration and innovation, especially where trust might be in short supply.

Innovators, and their wonderful wacky ways of collaborating and re-envisioning the world, offer great hope in forming the ecosystem to transform the way people consume healthcare.

This post is part of a series produced in partnership by the Global Innovation Summit and The Huffington Post around impact, innovation, and technology. For more information on the Summit, click here.