If I had to sum up the key take away from Cleveland Clinic's Medical Innovation Summit last week, I would probably say something like this : Innovation is alive and well, but are hospitals and physicians willing to pay for it when capital is so strained?
Nearly every panel that I attended seemed to have that as an underlying theme. Everyone from Cleveland Clinic's own Dr. Joseph Iannotti to Medtronic's CEO Omar Ishrak made statements about innovation in healthcare and the importance of having it present in an environment where capital is limited and dollars are few.
Iannotti made the most recent comment about innovation on the closing day of the summit when he said, "High Cost technology is needed - we need to be more efficient in how we use it."
The Medical Innovation Summit was perhaps in a state of flux this year and not because of Hurricane Sandy and its impact into the proceedings (Kudos for Chris Coburn, the executive director of CCF Innovations – the technology arm of the Cleveland Clinic, his team for shuffling around the speakers and keeping the panel going despite the storm impeding traveling plans for many of the panelists).
But rather, the flux came from the lateral shift to med-tech firms and clinicians proving outcomes in therapy coming into fruition. The result is a shift in the way med-tech firms and clinicians are thinking about innovation.
One thing that was made apparent, was that the additional bells and whistles method that was perhaps touted in years past is fading out. Clinicians want simple tools that can get a job done better than some of the complex offerings out on the market.
Perhaps the greatest sign of this was in the Top 10 Innovations of 2013. From insurance plans to bariatric procedures, innovation is slated to occur much differently than in the past.
Below is the Number 1 Innovation of 2013.