Putting Innovation Into Practice In Healthcare

Martin Burger

I recently had the privilege of joining a roundtable discussion hosted by Dr. Lisa Nissen, professor and head of the School of Clinical Sciences at Queensland University of Technology, and Martin Kopp, global general manager, SAP for Healthcare.

The theme of the discussion was focused around personalized healthcare and how the advancements of technology are set to completely change healthcare as we know it today, from a health provider, health professional, and patient point of view.

The discussion brought together a good mix of perspectives from doctors, pediatricians, research scholars, and professors.

One thing that really stood out for me was the passion and engagement each one of the contributors showed. Healthcare really is on the cusp of innovation, but with so many challenges to consider, evolutions in the industry are certainly not easy.

There were key topics of conversation ranging from the “Uber-ization” of healthcare through to patient empowerment, but one thing that stands at the heart of it all is data and analytics.

Big Data plays a huge role in healthcare. With national projects like the My Health Record in Australia (formerly PCEHR) and connectivity of medical devices, clinical data easily accumulates to terabytes if not petabytes of data, allowing clinicians and clinical researchers much deeper insights in treatment patterns and data mining.

Wearables is one of the key examples of how data is created, but exactly how that is managed and used to provide feedback to the user are still grey areas. We are not there yet in optimizing the value from these devices.

The collaboration between Roche and SAP is a great example of innovation. Collecting daily information on blood sugar levels from patients and consolidating it in the background for doctors and diabetes specialists enables more structured individual care and higher quality of life for diabetes patients.

This model also brings along a new role for the doctor or clinician, namely becoming a coach for the patient. With all this availability of data, insights, and comprehensive background information, patients and consumers easily get lost in the vast amount of information. Health professionals need to evolve and become a guide to consumers and patients to identify relevant information and provide individual care to the patient.

The future of healthcare is transforming as we speak. But the success of this transformation all depends on the complex ecosystem around the industry working together.

SAP is collaborating on ways to make personalized healthcare a reality. Click here to learn about further customer case studies in healthcare.


Martin Burger

About Martin Burger

Martin Burger is senior industry advisor for Healthcare at SAP Australia Pty. He has more than 10 years' experience in health informatics and is responsible for driving SAP's Asia-Pacific healthcare strategy.