By Gregg A. Masters MPH
‘There is no box…’ Lucien Engelen
There are a couple of threads that motivate this post.
First so much of the health innovation or system re-engineering conversation (if not hype) that plays out in health wonk, policy or even the nascent though expanding digital health innovation stakeholder universe is rather ‘U. S. Centric.’ Yet, solving the cost, quality and access conundrum in holistic (systemic) and sustainable terms is not solely a U.S. concern. Covering and providing high quality health services to whole populations is a challenge for ALL countries and their enabling private interests based on their model of blending public and private participation.
In this Exponential Medicine 2014 deeper dive interview at one of the best ‘immersive’ health innovation experiences of all (Note: for 2014 I covered some 24 major healthcare conferences based on my badge collection), I missed the very important distinction made by Lucien Engelen, the Director of the REshape Innovation Center at Radboud Universty Medical Center. As interviewer I was trying to elicit his cross cultural take on the seemingly more ‘patient centered’ nature and thus approach in the Netherlands (vs. the U.S.). To my somewhat surprise Engelen notes:
‘I don’t know, luckily its spreading all over the world. I don’t think its cultural based. It’s ignited by the need. We’ve got to change the model…. which is not sustainable: huge healthcare demands, declining budgets, shortage of skilled personnel, we’ve got to do something…. if you could also use the biggest resources in healthcare [the patient’s themselves as @epatientDave always states] that could bring great value I think.’
The key takeaway was at least at REshape and perhaps as proxy for the wider Dutch culture, they’ve progressed beyond ‘patient centered’ innovation favoring care based innovation that ‘partners with patients’. This might explain Engelen’s stated purpose for creating REshape, which is:
‘to harness the convergence of of technology at one end and patient empowerment on the other side…’
This is a fascinating man with a determined conviction to source answers and innovation globally as well as share the insights and ‘partnership values’ REshape is incorporating into their ‘incubation cell’ at Radboud University Medical Center.