Understanding Healthcare Ecosystems for a Better Tomorrow

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By Martin Bouza

September 18, 2023

When we look closely at the systems that shape our society, few are as intricate and important as the ones dealing with our health. Health ecosystems are complex puzzles with hundreds of moving parts that also act as a meeting point for all kinds of stakeholders who interact and execute solutions for issues that impact our lives. However, their own complex nature means that they will need different solutions to actually bring about innovation and change.

Challenges and complications in healthcare systems are the result of a combination of factors. Let’s just consider the variety of stakeholders: think healthcare providers, insurers, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, and patient advocacy groups to name some. While healthcare providers are on the front lines, delivering care and treatment to patients, insurers help them navigate the complex world of healthcare financing. Government agencies set regulations and standards, and pharmaceutical companies develop life-saving drugs and treatments. Research institutions drive innovation, and patient advocacy groups ensure that the patient’s voice is heard. While these stakeholders share the goal of improving health outcomes, their methods, objectives, and interests can sometimes diverge or even compete, making the healthcare landscape a dynamic environment to navigate.

As CEO of Arionkoder, a digital product design and AI company committed to crafting better futures for humanity, I believe understanding healthcare systems is the first step to a healthier tomorrow. This is the only way we can design innovative solutions that work for all stakeholders and effectively create impact. 

Healthcare systems, whether for-profit or not, are fundamentally connected by a common purpose – to ensure the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Just like the guiding principles of the Hippocratic Oath, these systems strive to cure, improve, or relieve patients. It’s a reflection of our innate human instinct to protect our tribe and ensure survival.

Both types of systems hold the potential for positive impact. However, to make that happen, we need a thorough understanding of the dynamics driving each system and their stakeholders, each with unique perspectives and goals, which may sometimes conflict.

Let’s be honest: healthcare is, by nature, a costly affair -whether the patient pays for it directly or not- with distribution challenges: making sure it reaches those who need it. Because of this, all or most systems look to reduce their costs while maintaining and even improving their results. 

It’s worth exploring how healthcare systems are actively addressing their cost challenges. One way they do this is through prevention programs that reduce chronic diseases. In turn, this also minimizes the suffering of the patient, as well as the need for medical intervention and the cost for the system. Smoking cessation programs, dietary counseling and regular screenings all go in this direction: benefitting patients by improving their quality of life as well as lightening the financial strain on healthcare systems, allowing those saved resources to be allocated more efficiently.

We’re in a very transformative era for healthcare. Who would have imagined surgeons could perform remote surgeries? Or guessed that creating personalized 3D body models for precise treatment plans would be available? Or even dreamt of small devices that could let doctors know our stats in real time? And still, even though gigantic technological advances are taking place, it all comes down to walking a mile in the patient’s shoes and taking it all in from their perspective. 

This new era for healthcare brings along new questions, challenges and considerations. As we embrace new technology advances, we must be firmly rooted -more than ever- in benefitting the patient, whether that means protecting their data or granting equitable access or in other, yet unexplored, ways.

At the heart of everything we do at Arionkoder is the desire to help patients rewrite their story for healthier, more positive lives: our mission to create a better future for humanity is also about improving one life at a time. I invite you to join us in building better healthcare for everyone.