Health and HANA: SAP Startup Focus starts the healthcare innovation conversation

Healthcare is undergoing a critical transformation in delivering care, spurring unprecedented opportunities for new business models and revenue streams, technology, and collaborations across the health system.

While the healthcare field is a far cry from SAP’s roots in manufacturing, the organization understands the imperative of leadership and technology in shaping the new face of care in the United States. The thought leadership event, “Digital Health: Where Patient, Caregiver & Technology Meet” held at the SAP Palo Alto offices October 28 stands as an example of how the SAP Startup Focus team is initiating the conversation and bringing together key stakeholders, ideas, and resources to innovate healthcare.

The evening event kicked off with an introduction to design thinking workshop directed by Amir Arabkheradmand, Sr. User Experience Researcher at SAP D-Studio. The session was meant to break participants out of their role as audience member to an activity where they were able to share their unique background and perspective. With healthcare flush with a variety of entities and often conflicting interests, the only way to find clarity and a viable product “is to speak to as many people who aren’t you and consider different perspectives”, as Coremobile VP Julie Perkins advised later during the panel discussion.

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With around 100 audience members dialed in to new ways of understanding healthcare, the session segued to a panel discussion centering on healthcare’s stakeholders, ecosystem opportunities, new business models and KPIs. Roger Lam from Kaiser’s Permanente Innovation Team in Oakland, California covered corporate innovation, while Julie Perkins from SAP Startup Focus’ CoreMobile shared her experience designing and integrating startup technology into the healthcare system. From within SAP, Anja Bog discussed the process of defining the role of technologies like SAP HANA in large intuitional settings like Stanford School of Medicine and the National Center for Tumor Diseases in Germany. Health 2.0 Silicon Valley Founder David Parpart moderated for the event, using his years of experience in clinical practice, entrepreneurship, and consulting to guide the conversation.

What became clear from the panelists is the new vision for healthcare: keeping the patient population healthy and out of the hospital. For stakeholders in every corner of healthcare, the acute shift prompts new business models, revenue streams, benchmarks, and technologies.

Panelists shared specific opportunities startups should keep on their radar, especially those aimed at preventing readmission of patients and faster recovery. Roger Lam of Kaiser Permanente mentioned wearable technology not aimed at the consumer as it currently is, but rather going the extra mile to gain FDA clearance so that hospitals might use them to facilitate faster patient recovery times and mitigate readmission.

Both Anja and Julie highlighted the importance of real time software that could deliver business intelligence at a rapid basis. For roughly 60 percent of hospitals that do not leverage software, this would mean the difference between data delivered in spreadsheets a month after as opposed to real time actionable insight as the patient moves through the health system. Based on her own experiences with large institutions, Anja expressed the dire need for information standardization, which at this point remains siloed in different places and formats.

Besides the gaps in the healthcare system which new technologies will plug in to, the speakers tasked the audience members to become health advocates, giving examples from within Kaiser Permanente and SAP. Kaiser’s “Navigators” and SAP’s “care circles” have emerged to give consumers better information and tools to be able to better provide care for themselves and others.

Thank you to all who joined and to SVC Wireless.

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