Last week TEDMED 2012 was an amazing experience. More than 200 phenomenal speakers and entertainers took the stage to explore challenging issues in healthcare and to inspire innovative, cross-disciplinary thinking. Many of the topics – that I will share with you as TEDMED makes the videos available over the coming weeks – are complex, complicated, and sometimes controversial. Is it even possible to make thing simpler in the business of healthcare? It’s a challenging question when posed to an industry recognized for complexity in the study, processes, technology, and science needed to advance new therapies and address increasingly more complex diseases, health problems, and social issues.
During the past couple of months, I’ve had the great fortune to work with an exceptional TEDMED team to engage Xerox as a sponsor of this unconventional event. Healthcare? You may wonder where Xerox fits in this world, besides supplying printers at nurse stations, doctor’s offices, and admissions desks. Though my TEDMED journey, I’ve learned a bit about how Xerox plays a surprisingly diverse role inside the research, clinical and operational side of healthcare. Here’s how:
• Helping caregivers. Through its investment in innovation and research, Xerox employs ethnographers who study how caregivers work. These folks help to develop solutions that can free floor nurses from paperwork so they can spend more time with patients.
• Reducing complications. Xerox helps hospitals convert mountains of clinical data and health history into electronic format and monitor it to assess risk and prevent potential emerging complications. For example, we use text-mining technology to analyze information such as symptoms, drugs prescribed, and types of bacteria found in the environment to help detect and prevent hospital-acquired infections.
• Going electronic. It always amazes me how much paperwork still exists in healthcare. Besides transforming paper charts to electronic records, we deliver them to mobile devices and the Cloud securely. Electronic medial records not only reduce the cost and trouble of managing truckloads of documents, but helps providers better coordinate treatment and therapy across everyone involved in a patient’s care.
Our Chief Innovation Officer for Healthcare, Markus Fromherz, goes into a bit more detail if you are interested in what else we do.
Despite these accomplishments, it is humbling for me to listen to the speakers at TEDMED – and talk with other delegates – and see first hand how much work truly remains to be done. I am proud to see Xerox join the TEDMED community and work to simplify the business of healthcare.