Digital Health Takes Center Stage at CES 2023
This week, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) - the world's largest technology conference - is taking place in Las Vegas. CES is an annual event that is highly influential and defines the industry in consumer electronics and technology. This year, the focus of the conference is digital health. Given the challenges faced by the healthcare system in the past three years due to pandemic protocols and public health measures, this is a timely opportunity to bring together industry professionals, innovators, and the general public to address one of the world's biggest problems.
During CES 2023, the use of digital health technologies to reduce costs, increase health equity, and save lives will be examined. The conference will include presentations and discussions on the future of sports health technology, improving access to care, and the potential for at-home testing and diagnosis. Startups working to innovate in the fields of digital health and fintech will also have the opportunity to pitch their ideas, and there will be a speaker spotlight on the role of artificial intelligence in patient care in the future.
In Canada, there is often little discussion about problem-solving or innovation in the healthcare system, which is frequently characterized by long wait times, capacity issues, and patient transfers. Recently, Kieran Murphy of the Toronto Star wrote an article titled "Canada's health-care system inhibits innovation by design. The result is medical mediocrity."
The article argues that Canada's healthcare system stifles innovation and produces subpar results because it is socialized, centrally controlled, and administrator-led, which can prioritize maintaining the status quo over embracing new treatments and technologies. This is a common challenge faced by organizations seeking to be more innovative.
As a result, Canadians may miss out on new treatments and techniques available in other countries, such as the United States. According to Murphy, innovation in healthcare is more likely to occur in systems that are led by physicians and operate for profit, as they are more open to adopting new technologies and techniques to attract patients. This raises the question of what a socialized, centrally controlled, administrator-led system could do to innovate and deliver better results for Canadians.
One approach for Canada could be to double down on design-led innovation methods and frameworks:
By using these methods, we can unlock the innovative potential of our healthcare and research systems.
In conclusion, digital health technologies have the potential to improve healthcare outcomes and increase accessibility for patients around the world. CES 2023 will bring together industry professionals, innovators, and the general public to address the challenges facing the healthcare system and explore ways to utilize digital technologies to lower costs, improve health equity, and save lives. While Canada's healthcare system may face challenges in fostering innovation, there are several methods and frameworks that could be implemented to unlock the innovative potential of the healthcare and research systems, including human-centered co-design, prototyping and testing, collaboration, and sustainability. By embracing digital health solutions, encouraging collaboration between the public and private sectors, and fostering a culture of innovation, Canada's healthcare system can work towards better outcomes for patients and the community.