The Answer to Innovative Healthcare? It’s Probably Outside the Walls of Your Hospital

South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX, has gained a reputation as a conference where cutting edge technology and ideas are launched. To give you an idea, 11 years ago Twitter launched at SXSW. So, it’s not surprising that other hot ideas—including those related to healthcare—were being discussed in Austin last month.

On opening day of SXSW, there was a panel discussion that included three execs from UPMC discussing how their organization is piloting a program whereby UPMC becomes a strategic investor in healthcare-related start-ups.

“The next big opportunity in healthcare is to make healthcare feel like Amazon,” said Dr. Pamela Peele, chief analytics officer, UPMC Insurance Services Division and UPMC Enterprises. But, as MedCity News pointed out in their coverage of the UPMC session, Amazon alone can’t change the face of healthcare because the industry is too large, unwieldy and complicated.

So what’s the answer?

UPMC believes the answer to transforming the customer experience in healthcare lies outside the walls of their organization amidst innovative startups.

As one such company that is fortunate to work with UPMC, I love their eagerness to look beyond their own organization for new ideas and creative ways to improve the healthcare they deliver to patients.

“That is the next big opportunity in healthcare: How are we going to disrupt the customer experience,” Dr. Peele said. “Who is going to do it? Doesn’t look like it’s going to be us…I think it has to come from outside.”

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