In terms of healthcare innovation, we’re experiencing unprecedented growth driven by the innovation of healthcare experts around the world. From research scientists to the World Health Organisation, innovation within healthcare has always been a collective effort.
The countries leading innovation — in ranking order — are Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, and North America. They are the top-ranking countries for healthcare innovation, but others are notably contributing via research including, China, the UK, Japan, and France.
Below, we will explore how the global collective effort is driving healthcare innovation to be at an all-time high.
Arguably, digitalisation is at the forefront of healthcare innovation. That’s not surprising, considering digitalisation is at the forefront of innovation in many industries. Much of what’s done in the hospital is now done digitally, from ward rounds to patient observations. The benefits? For one, there’s no paper trail, and it’s much easier to track patient notes, medications, clinical observations and even communications. In the UK, systems such as the Vital Pack have revolutionised patient contact and care.
In the last 18 months, digitalisation has progressed somewhat in terms of face-to-face patient contact. Several appointments now happen via a video link to prevent the spread of infection within a clinical setting. The result of digitalisation has been increased efficiency, time saved, and patient outcomes improved.
Groundbreaking Technology and Equipment
You could say that we wouldn’t have seen the digitalisation we have thus far without the contribution of groundbreaking technology. One innovation that serves a meaningful purpose — not that all technology doesn’t — is the use of virtual reality to enable children with special needs to attend appointments. Globally, children with learning disabilities, such as autism, struggle with clinical environments, which is detrimental to their health.
Virtual reality is a sensory escape for children with visual and auditory needs. It is the perfect example of a merger between industries through innovative technology.
We can sing the praises of technology and digitalisation, but behind the ideas are incredible minds seeking to propel the medical world into a new era. People such as Angela Spang and her innovative self-retaining retractor device helped reduce infection transmission in a theatre setting and cut the cost of equipment supplies. Entrepreneurs are the driving force behind many of the innovations we see today.
Other human factors include organisations globally. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is the perfect example. Fuelled by the likes of Bill Gates and other billionaires globally, the WHO’s mission statement is to develop a world in which everyone can live healthily and places healthcare at the centre of the global agenda. Most recently, relating to what was mentioned earlier, The WHO is helping the world move towards digitalisation of people’s COVID status. The WHO also contributes to many of the clinical trials and studies happening globally.
Many things attribute to the healthcare innovation that we see today. Aside from technology and innovative minds, the ever-changing global health status of the world drives innovation. From the obesity crisis in the US to malnutrition in developing countries, the world dictates innovation.