Are we truly ready to innovate?

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Are we truly prepared to innovate? Can we hack everything we know? With which mindset do we assess and validate innovation processes?

Generally at innovation events related to the pharma industry the same pattern occurs: hacking, co-creating and validating in order to implement a solution that will somehow improve the lives of people. Although the industry usually puts the user at the center, we should also consider his or her environment, his or her life, their actions, spaces and all the actors who influence the quality of their treatment. And I am not only talking about medication adherence, medical checks, physical activity or any other clinical requirement; I mean fears, questions, embarrassment and limitations, among other things. 

  • Ms. María asked us: “What should I cook for Ramón who is diabetic?”
  • Carlos, 53 years old, who has had three transplants, said: “We’re all like children because we are all afraid; and it’s worse when you’re an adult because we are afraid to look like a fool when we don't know something”.
  • Sofía, a doctor with 20 years of experience in multiple sclerosis, was surprised about how many actors are involved in the treatment of a patient. And, she felt that it was the first time that she had really started to think about how to improve the quality of life of patients from her own perspective as a human being.

Things as simple as this can not be explained in a doctor’s office, nor in a Patient Support Program (PSP), nor can they be solved in an Innovation Workshop or Design Thinking Hackathon!

It is necessary for multiple actors to get involved, from family members and friends who are connected to the person who has the disease, to health team members, institutions, industry, state, educators, communicators and influencers, that can share content which makes us pay attention, listen to the story and become aware of other realities. 

Moreover, I have been thinking that instead of creating a “Patient Support Program” together with the pharma industry we should develop a “People Support Program” that could help patients, family members, tutors, doctors, social workers, educators and politicians.

In addition to the lack of personalization and depth in the relationships within health environments, another problem I’ve come across with is “INFOxication”. Digital transformation shouldn’t be about developing more apps or digitizing more papers or processes, but about changing our mindset, about having a vision from the perspective of a digital ecosystem and about making good use of technology in a way that benefits people. In Europe and the United States they are already prescribing apps. This is real digital transformation. Is it possible that we will soon be measuring adherence by the total amount of time we spend using an app?

In 2021 I also experienced first-hand how agility, innovation methodologies, technology and teamwork when well orchestrated, can improve the world. To be able to help people who must carry out a lifelong treatment, to enable them to have a better day, to simplify their lives and make it more human, fills my heart and motivates me to continue undertaking projects together with our team, hacking and co-creating to make a better world.

- By Martin Boschetti

 

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