“Why does medical technology suck?”
With that blunt and jokey-but-no-joke question, TechSpring’s Christian Lagier kicked off a recent Tap Into TechSpring talk that focused on frustrations with the programs, devices, and systems we use in healthcare.
When he asked the audience what they hated most about it, hands darted into the air.
The misery of unrelenting EHR alerts. Data entombed in outdated systems. Physicians forced to spend half of every appointment looking at a screen instead of their patients.
It all felt cathartic, like a support group for the technologically frustrated. Using most medical technology, one audience member said, “feels like we’re 40 years in the past.”
Opening up medical technology
Of course, everyone complains about the state of healthcare technology. It’s a hobby for professionals and laymen alike.
But at TechSpring, folks aren’t just kvetching. They’re talking about this problem because they want to solve it.
While companies often jealously guard their medical data and work in isolation, TechSpring is founded on the belief that bringing different players together holds the answer.
“A lot of people have innovative ideas for medical tech, and most might not work on their own,” says Michael Yunes, Chief of Radiology at Baystate Health. “But at TechSpring, you might be able to hook your idea up with someone’s else’s, and together they do work.”
And TechSpring is as open as the typical office EHR is isolated and closed.
Have a new idea? Bounce it off someone in the lounge. Want to get feedback from users? Schedule a focus group or user testing to try out a prototype. Whatever stage of development you’re in, TechSpring has the resources to help and the connections you need.
“There’s nothing else out there like TechSpring,” says Bill Cole, a developer, entrepreneur, and TechSpring regular. “They can get you all the way from an idea to actual implementation in the hospital.”
How soon will medical tech work as well and as reliably as the phone in your pocket? Nobody knows. But the solutions will come from smart people working together — just like they are at TechSpring.
“Every Joe down the street knows that we’re living in a world with a broken healthcare system,” says Cole. “If you want to be part of the solution, TechSpring is the place to be.”