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Collaboration Holds Highest Potential for Health Sector Innovation

April 12, 2011

Cisco released findings from a global health leader survey on national health sector innovation. The most notable findings from the online survey, commissioned by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group and conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, show that collaboration and information-sharing among health professionals have the greatest near-term potential for facilitating large-scale health sector innovation.

Health leaders in 16 countries on six continents were asked about their views on issues and opportunities in providing health services.

The health leaders identified their top concerns as:
• Providing equitable access to health services.
• Maximizing the efficiency of health resources.
• Providing quality care consistently.

When asked to highlight options that would enable health transformation, the survey respondents identified technology-enabled innovations and telehealth solutions as potential breakthroughs. The survey found support from world health leaders for enabling innovation with telehealth models.
“Telehealth” is a broad concept used to denote new ways for health professionals to share information, work collaboratively and deliver services using a wide range of information and communications technology.

The findings show that many technologies today exist but that the focus needs to be more on integrated health solutions that facilitate collaboration to support more efficient diagnosis, treatment and care management. Technologies that combine data exchange with people-to-people interactions helps to enable efficient professional practices. This includes:
• Collaborating via information and communications technology to diagnose and treat patients was high potential for 65 percent of the respondents.
• Electronically sharing or accessing diagnostic images, video or patient biometric data was also a high-potential approach for 65 percent of the respondents.
• Providing clinical training and references via ICT was high potential for 64 percent of the respondents.
• In contrast, patient care provided via care-at-a-distance models was high potential for only 32 percent of the respondents.

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