2022 Healthcare Industry Trends with T-Pro

6 min read

The Healthcare Industry continues to rise to the new challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, which continues to dominate health care systems’ attention and resources. The industry continues to elevate the human experience of the workforce and reshape what, how, and where work is performed, swiftly scaling virtual health services for patients, and forging partnerships to produce and procure the required treatments, and supplies. 

In this interview, conducted by T-Pro, we ask influential Healthcare leaders: Mark Cox (CEO of Health IT Consulting NZHIT & Expert Advisor to Enterprise Ireland on all things related to digital health in AUS/NZ) & Jonathan Larbey, CEO of T-Pro - their views on the value, trends and future of Healthcare Information Technology. These top executives share their challenges, predictions and what has made them personally successful in the industry.

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About Mark Cox: 

Mark has 35+ years of experience in Digital Health. He graduated from the University of Auckland with a BSc majoring in Computer Science and has worked in all aspects of digital health including software development, commercial management, business development and most recently as CEO.  Mark held this role at ICNET and continued to successfully head up the business as part of Baxter Healthcare Corporation following its acquisition. Today, Mark is widely regarded as a preeminent expert in the digital health ecosystem across Australia and New Zealand and continues to provide consultancy services for leading companies and government agencies.


How does the New Zealand/Australian market differ from the US in terms of healthcare technology and particularly the US single consolidated EMR solution vs multi-system integrator models?

Mark: The system in Australia and New Zealand are classed as socialised medicine, so the majority of funding is through the government through taxes. There is also a private sector funded through an individual’s medical insurance. This offloads the govt funded system to enable patients to have quicker access to elective surgery.

In Australia, there is the complication of state and commonwealth funding. Like the UK, Ireland, and Canada, the model is based on the public good. The simplest difference is that healthcare organisations here want to discourage patients from being admitted into hospitals, whereas American healthcare organisations are transactional and want to drive business through their hospitals.

Australia is divided into state strategies and now tends to focus on big EMR systems such as Cerner, Epic and Allscripts. NSW has a process underway for a state-wide solution.

NZ has gone down a more pragmatic route of implementing the best of the breed. There is a new government-run project called Hira which is building an ecosystem of data and digital services that will enable access to a virtual electronic health record.  

The first stage of the Hira platform will cover identity, demographics, medications, diagnostics, immunisations with a FHIR API layer built on top. Hira funding approved, first release May 2022 - Health Informatics New Zealand (hinz.org.nz)

Jonathan: I agree with Mark, the main difference is in the funding model and the motivations that it creates. The interesting part for us at T-Pro is in how this manifests itself. 

In the US like in Australia, New Zealand and other publicly funded health systems, burnout of clinicians is a big problem. This is driven by a burden of documentation and administrative tasks associated with patient encounters.  However, in the US clinicians need, and often want, to take ownership of these tasks as they are intrinsically linked to revenue.  Anything not meticulously recorded is not billable, and ultimately hits them in the pocket.  In publicly funded systems clinicians typically don’t want to engage in these tasks as it distracts them from seeing and discharging more patients. 

The outcome of this for T-Pro is that whilst US clinicians want to use more directly assistive tools such as front-end speech recognition, information recall and template navigation to optimise their documentation processes. Clinicians in Australia and New Zealand are on the whole more interested in remote working, mobile accessibility, workflow and automation. In this instance, the speech and language processing technology becomes invisible but no less valuable.


What are the 3 biggest problems facing healthcare at the minute that you feel technology might have a role in addressing?

Mark: Covid19 has driven a major change in Healthcare delivery and it will take some time to understand the consequences. In Australia and New Zealand, the pandemic has highlighted the issues around inequality of access, particularly to the disadvantaged, rural, digitally excluded community.

Digital enabled services have been introduced during the pandemic such as the simple task of booking a vaccination appointment,  but we need to bridge the digital divide and ensure all participants in the healthcare systems are bought on this journey.

Covid has also once again focused on the lack of funding for Public Health. Hopefully out of the pandemic there will be a change to enable better programs of work around the prevention of disease.

The other area that has been highlighted recently is that money does not equal outcomes. Governments have pumped in money without getting a proportional return on investment. This is where there is an opportunity to focus on investment in technology that can have a huge impact on efficiency and outcomes. The classic example of this is in mental health where there is a crisis in the delivery of mental health services. Unfortunately, our health providers have been slow to organise and fund digital solutions that are proven to help in their various stages through a patient’ health journey.

Lastly, there has been a major shift in the way solutions are provided to health care organisations. Cloud-based, mobile-based applications with FHIR interfaces are revolutionising digital delivery. In the past, the hospitals would develop unsupported and vulnerable “home-grown” departmental software solutions, and now international software companies are supplying easy to use and easy to implement, secure solutions globally to healthcare organisations delivered through a cloud platform.

Jonathan: Outside COVID-19, I see data security as a massive issue. There have been several cyber attacks this last year that have crippled healthcare organisations for months. It is becoming more and more evident that these organisations are ill-equipped to maintain security patches and best practices across an ever-growing ecosystem of systems and hardware. In my opinion, there needs to be a shift towards cloud. T-Pro runs everything on AWS and has a very open relationship with them. They have great resources every year on data security and the robustness of their infrastructure. Far more than any healthcare organisation could hope to spend. So why not leverage this best of breed product more?

Beyond that, the quality and utility of data is a problem for healthcare going forward. More and more is being captured electronically now. But unless this data is structured there is no way of really utilising it in the future. 


What do you see as the lowest hanging fruit in terms of the opportunity for technology to make an impact in healthcare in the coming year?

Mark: As I commented above, Cloud-based applications have a significant impact on efficiency. Easy to implement and returns start quickly. Hospitals need to embrace these solutions as their healthcare workers and patients demand a better and more efficient service. The monolithic EMR still has its place but it will be surrounded by suites of interoperable and secure productivity tools that integrate easily.

Jonathan: I am biased, but the lowest hanging fruit seems always to be to use automation and optimisation of manual processes.  Human capital is a scarce resource.  Technology that increases the capacity and efficiency of either clinical or administrative personnel (like T-Pro) is easy to implement and proven to generate huge time and cost benefits. 


In your experience what is the biggest challenge when implementing technology-led projects?

Mark: Change management is the biggest problem with technology projects. In the past hospitals would require software companies to change and configure the solution to meet their needs.

With cloud-based platforms delivered to hundreds or thousands of hospitals around the world is changing the game. These solutions are lowish in cost and easy to implement provided the hospital can adapt its workflow to suit international best practices.

Jonathan: People are often scared of new technology, whether through a lack of understanding or previous bad experiences. The hardest challenge is often getting these detractors to give the technology a fair chance.


How do you see T-Pro or more broadly speech technology being used in solving some of these problems?

Mark: T-Pro is a classic example of a paradigm shift in technology, workflow and delivery. A cloud-based mobile technology running around the world and delivered quickly to healthcare organisations using modern technology. Integrated using FHIR into the hospital’s other solutions.

Being global and cloud-based, T-Pro can change the operation from a largely manual, personalised secretarial service flexibly to a new configuration where reports are written

It’s a game-changer in terms of efficiency and delivery.

Jonathan: T-Pro is already being used to improve the experience of all stakeholders in the patient journey. We are making it easier for providers to deliver and record patient care without affecting the patient interaction or encroaching on their out of hours time. We deliver a fully integrated, cloud-based platform that automates manual processes and is augmented with incredibly fast and accurate voice experiences - ultimately this allows healthcare organisations to provide more care, for more people, faster!

T-Pro is proud to assist over 600+ Health organisations with 85K+ Active users across the globe. Built to be mobile-first, we remove barriers to capture information quickly and easily, ensuring complete patient records and enhancing patient safety. 

If you want to find out more about how engaging T-Pro can benefit your health organisation, contact us:

  • HQ: +353 (0) 1 9696 400
  • UK: +44 (0) 2 0864 1504
  • NZ: +64 2040 993328

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