Innovation is the buzzword of our times. Nowhere is it more ubiquitous than in health technology, where a continuous stream of new hardware and software technologies is transforming how health is delivered and received.
For instance, today consumers have access to over 165,000 software mHealth apps on hardware devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Yet, the vast majority of these software solutions have seen limited uptake by consumers and about 36 apps account for half of all downloads. Even after being downloaded, many health apps experience no, low or intermittent utilization by consumers.
- Why has the proliferation of innovative mHealth apps not translated into high adoption rates?
- How do we solve the challenge of innovation without impact?
To truly make a difference, a new app has to see both sustained use and, ultimately, improved health outcomes. This requires change agents to adopt innovative thinking approaches that focus equally on ideas and impact.
Here’s one way to think about this.
When we talk about being innovative, new ideas or apps are the ‘software’ output of our mind. ‘How we think’ is the hardware. Often a change in how we think about a challenge can be the most powerful way to address it. True innovators are masters of both the hardware and the software of their mind.
By cultivating the innovator’s mindset, healthcare technology entrepreneurs and executives can generate novel ways of thinking about challenges and develop more creative solutions. Also, by seeking a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how app users—whether patients or providers—think and behave, future innovators can increase the likelihood of developing technology solutions that have an enduring impact on the healthcare system and the health of individuals.
- Learn more about these ideas in Enduring Edge.
- To learn about “Cultivating the Innovator’s Mindset,” attend Shukla’s talk at the mHealth Startup Boot Camp.
- To learn about “Innovation from Within: Cultural and Commercial Considerations” attend the mHealth panel with Paul Nagy, Amita Shukla, Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation officer of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Troy Keyser from Partners Healthcare Innovation.
Amita Shukla is the founder & CEO of Vitamita and the author of Enduring Edge. She is also a Mentor-in-Residence at Johns Hopkins and a Governor’s appointee to the board of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. Learn more here and follow her @amitashukla.