The ultimate expression of innovation is innovation of meaning.
Re-imagining the future of healthcare challenges us to think differently about health and care, to create a vision for the forms of healthcare experiences we should all expect to produce and to receive.
Elon Musk, the South African born contemporary pioneer, has shown how it is possible to make aspirational visions of the future become realities. He is successfully innovating radical reinventions of the car (Tesla), renewable energy (SolarCity), space exploration (Space-X) and the concept of travel (Hyperloop). To innovate successfully, Elon believes that we have to go back to fundamental universal principles, such as the law of thermodynamics. Rather than trying to incrementally improve on other people’s historical inventions, fundamental understanding takes us back to all things being possible (within the constraints of nature).
So what fundamental principle could we start with to innovate healthcare? Could it be the deep societal value of ‘caring’ that we all identify as a basic human need?
Caring can be a core benefit of healthcare - for both the giver and the receiver of care. Innovations that enable us (people in the healthcare system) to 'care more' or to ‘provide better care’ could bring about some of the biggest disruptions in how healthcare is delivered and experienced.
Caring is inclusive. So to innovative more inclusive healthcare, we should be imagining new and better ways to include the ‘social technology’ of caring into the mix of other technology innovations that will enable us to make better use of information, deliver smarter treatments, make healthcare more affordable and connect more people to the health services, information and care that they need.