A huge thank you to Ralph Perrine of Blue Cross NC, our incredible pop-up speaker for the event.
Wow, it feels good to be back! On May 11th, 2022, we at the Digital Health Institute for Transformation (DHIT) relaunched our Digital Health Happy Hour events for the first time since February 2020 just in time for our 5-year anniversary. Sponsored by digital health growth agency Bluedoor Group and headlined by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Innovation Garage, DHIT hosted a thought-provoking networking event to reactivate our latent, in-person digital health community. We were joined by a large contingent of veteran health experts from across the ecosystem to break bread, drink natural Italian wine, and catalyze conversation through immersion in the now ubiquitous digital health landscape. COVID-19 thrust our work into the national spotlight driving important insights and even more important questions about how to create an equitable, technology-enabled health system to serve the many rather than the few.
The Innovation Garage, founded by Ralph Perrine, the Director of Information Technology Strategy & Transformation at Blue Cross NC, was created with the conviction that healthcare should be and can be more affordable and accessible for all. In his talk, Perrine noted how despite many ongoing attempts to improve the experience and outcomes for patients and communities, costs and chronic conditions continue to rise at alarming rates in NC and beyond. He, along with the DHIT team, believe that in order to bring about effective change, we need to solve against the major obstacles facing healthcare, namely that our systems are primarily reactive, have fractured segments and siloed stakeholders, are far from user friendly, and weren’t designed to serve the unique needs of each individual. Perrine described the 8 Innovation Imperatives that address the obstacles to better healthcare and how they guide the transformative work being undertaken at the Innovation Garage: Better Predictions, Key Digital Capabilities, Seamless Digital Ecosystem, Financial Innovation, Employer Innovation, Diversification, Community Action, and Talent Incubation. Perrine noted that they are already seeing dramatic impact of this approach from one of their incubated solutions, CarePath. CarePath is an AI model factory that creates algorithms that can identify patients at risk for adverse events. Care managers are alerted to engage with these patients to get them enrolled into appropriate treatment programs. In just one year, they’ve seen significant improvements in engagement and as well as reduction in healthcare costs. This is just one example of how focusing on the 8 Innovation Imperatives is making a difference in the community.
And as Perrine went on to remark, “If you are facing obstacles that seem insurmountable in your journey to solve a problem in healthcare or if you have expertise in one of our strategic imperatives, we’d love to partner with you to accelerate innovation and improve healthcare for everyone. We should work together to make North Carolina the #1 healthiest state in the nation. There is no reason with the amount of medical and technological expertise in our state that we shouldn’t be able to make this a reality.” Now that’s the sort of Call to Action that gets us out of bed in the morning!
At DHIT, we are looking to collaborate with industry talent such as Perrine and his team at the Innovation Garage to activate disruption in our fragmented health industry with a view to cultivating actionable insights and creating effective solutions. Join us in our mission to engage across communities to promote digital health transformation and provide equal access to global advancements in care. We look forward to connecting with you soon at our next event!
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