Technology in Healthcare w/ Chai Chua

technology in healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed technology in healthcare that could revolutionise the healthcare sector into the public eye but the question remains, why did it take a disaster to reveal them and how does the sector keep the momentum going? 

As the deadly virus made its way across Australia, virtual healthcare and Telehealth were quickly rolled out and 3D printing was used to manufacture face masks and goggles as personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages became apparent. 

While these technologies aren’t new, the threat of wide-spread infection exposed their potential. 

Chai Chuah, a prominent figure in New Zealand’s healthcare sector and former director-general of health, now advises organisations on the future of healthcare which he believes will include genomics, artificial intelligence, robotics, wearables, nanotechnology and 3D printing. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought some of these technologies out of the woodwork where they were previously ticking around in the background, unable to penetrate the “fortress” of the healthcare sector, Mr Chuah told INTREPID. 

“All these technologies are kind of bubbling away quietly in the background and sometimes it kind of feels like it's a hammer looking for a nail to nail down,” he said. 

"But then suddenly you get something like COVID-19 and then boom, like the lid’s just taken off.

"Virtual care has literally happened overnight, particularly in the primary care setting and to some extent in hospitals because hospitals are saying to the patient, please don't come in you can use tele consultations.”

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, also suddenly came to the healthcare fore, according to Mr Chuah, who said “pockets of innovation” were producing face masks and other PPE. 

“So the question is what are all these things out there now? Do we need to actually wait for a pandemic, or can we be proactive to unleash this exponential energy?,” he said. 

“If you ask my view, my view is, there is not a fat chance in hell in any health jurisdiction for them to be that proactive.

“They will only react.” 

The “natural strength” of the healthcare system is its ability to “rescue”, says Mr Chuah, but it has also become a major weakness for the industry which is slow to adopt revolutionary technology before a disaster strikes. 

"I think the private sector is about to go through a lot of change and I think there'll be a lot of incumbents who will go out of business and then I think there's gonna be a whole lot of new ones come on,” he said. 

“"In the new wave of the private sector, how do we harness them for them to be able to provide solutions?”

Giving support to younger professionals to rise up the ranks, such as academics and scientists, will form part the way forward to secure a technologically advance future healthcare system, says Mr Chuah. 
“What we do need to is to invest in the developing and helping the young ones come through to help navigate some of the land-mines,” he said. 

“For people like us in our generation, I think the best thing we can do is share the experience and let them figure out what the solution looks like.” 

Mental Health w/ Anna Feringa

Mental Health COVID

COVID-19 has shaken up the business world forever and amid the rapidly changing environment companies now face a make-or-break decision – look after employees’ mental health, or suffer far-reaching consequences.

The pandemic has not only impacted how employees operate within their companies – with many working from home – but also how they manage their own lives around tight restrictions, home schooling and detachment from friends and family.

With these disruptions comes an increase in mental health issues and the exacerbation of pre-existing mental health issues, which ultimately leads to problems at home and in the workplace, virtual or otherwise.

Workplace mental health consultant Anna Feringa has 17 years experience working in the sector and is currently working with large non-for-profits to assist them in helping employees through the stressful COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms Feringa told INTREPID while mental health issues in the work place were already “a significant issue”, they had become more apparent due to the crisis.

A lack of priority and education has been preventing companies from implementing effective mental health policy with a focus on safety, Ms Feringa said.

“What we're finding pre-COVID is that the term mental health didn't really have a safety aspect to it,” she said.

“What companies are facing in that respect, is if we're not doing it well, and we're not prioritising it well, and making it available for our people to respect and understand whilst at work – the fallout is huge.

That fallout – according to Ms Feringa – impacts employees’ ability to perform their job well, organisational relationship breakdowns and increases in error and mistake.

The recipe for effective mental health safety within companies comes down to a “platform that is authentic, available, digestible and applicable”, said Ms Feringa.

“Like any form of education, if it's delivered in the right paradigm to the right people in the right time, you will get traction.”

Change has to start from the top down according to Ms Feringa, who said leaders need to be given the skills to be “vulnerable, ask the right questions and know when to stop”.

“If you're a leader and someone starts to open up to you and tell you all of their issues, and you're their boss. Where's your boundary?,” she said.

“Now when I say stop, I don't mean stop caring, just know where else you can guide that person, but no one's going to do it unless the organisation reframes it, and gives their people permission.”

Fear is one of the biggest barriers in preventing companies from making significant headway in support their staff, with many companies “tip toeing” around the problem instead of facing it head on.

For Ms Feringa, the main fears she hears from clients are its “too hard, too far away or not a priority” and that if they discover more employees are unwell than initially thought, it would trigger a wave of time off.

“It's really important how the organisational industry chooses to prioritise and respect this stuff – particularly now – needs to be done well and it needs to be done with truth,” she said.

“Good leaders are vulnerable, good leaders are human, good leaders understand that they need to put people before process.”

The Disruption Ready Organization in a COVID Economy

Disruption Ready Organization

The Disruption Ready Organization in a COVID Economy 

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only had a singular, disruptive impact on the entire planet, it has thrown fuel on the fire of disruption’s other manifestations.

The reality of disruption is that it has always walked hand-in-hand with human expansion, ingenuity, invention, and innovation. In fact, for all of human history, one person’s innovation has inevitably been someone else’s disruption.

However, disruption today is different due to its scope and scale, the speed of change, and the systemic consequences of its impacts. COVID-19 has intensified all of these.

Disruption Ready Organization

When an operating environment already teetering between complexity and chaos tips into a new operating state, no organisation or individual is likely to escape the consequences. In this new reality, disruption is most often experienced as a merciless headwind rather than a powerful and energizing tailwind. Simply knowing about “disruption” is no longer enough.

Instead, disruption readiness has become a primary imperative for organizations and their leaders. It requires:

  1. Developing a mindset that is open to thinking ahead, embracing complexity, and harnessing change;
  2. Cultivating a skill-set focused on pursuing the opportunities that disruption creates;
  3. Activating a “strategy in action” that embraces new and agile approaches to strategic thinking and action; and
  4. Changing ahead of change.

For most organizations and individuals, understanding, embracing, and leveraging disruption in this way is the test of our time. The reality is that too many were already not up to the task. COVID-19 has merely ripped the band-aid off.

The Disruption Ready Organization Diagnostic

The Disruption Ready Organization (DRO) diagnostic is a tool that assists executives, senior leaders, and key staff to objectively and collectively self-assess the disruption readiness of their organisations. In other words, it helps them to answer a critical question, “Are you ready to leverage disruption?”

The diagnostic also identifies key areas of strength to leverage and gaps to address across eight key indicators. These have been developed through a combination of research and feedback from organizations about the key areas of focus that enable change ahead of change.

Finally, through regular retesting, organizations can objectively examine whether their investments into becoming disruption ready are actually moving the needle.

Why Disruption Readiness Matters in the COVID Economy

As the converging social, economic, environmental, political, health, and technological implications of the COVID pandemic start to become clear, organizations must quickly examine how they are placed relative to these disruptions.

Becoming over-focused on the immediate impacts of the pandemic and losing sight of the other disruptions yet to come is a key risk at this time. Equally, there are real opportunities to seize in this period of time.

In many ways, making the most of the COVID Economy is practice for further disruption to come.

Resilient Futures' Disruption Ready Australia Report Card 2019
Resilient Futures' Disruption Ready Australia Report Card 2019

We know from the data we have collected to date that many organizations have a general awareness of disruption. But the data also shows they largely do not know how to re-set their focus, capabilities, people, culture, and supply networks to be ready for what comes next.

Take the DRO diagnostic now to gain immediate feedback about how ready your organisation is to find its way forward in the COVID Economy.

Around the Network

RF Network Page Banner

The Resilient Futures Network is currently a collective of 3500 decision-makers and leaders who recognize that we are in a cycle of disruptive change. We want to create a way forward together by learning, practicing, and sharing experiences with like-minded people.

around the network

When you join our Network, you receive the first two chapter of our book Disrupted: Strategy for Exponential Change for free. This book details the fundamentals of a 21st Century strategic framework, Strategy in Action (SiA), and examples of organisations leveraging disruption.

We recently had a large group of students who are completing an Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) course at Hult International Business School sign up to the Network, identifying interest in Disrupted.

HULT International Business School in Dubai
HULT International Business School in Dubai

When we reached out, one student, Karim Hechema, informed us that the book chapters 1 and 2 was part of a pre-reading preparation for the course Disruptive Business Model by Dr Manuel Tejeiro Koller.” We have since contacted Dr. Manuel Tejeiro to work further on assisting him and his students with their study and develop a relationship with Hult Business School.