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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

How to overcome barriers to adoption of novel diagnostics and pathology technologies

Health Industry Hub | March 13, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: In a panel discussion at the inaugural Pathology Technology Australia congress, experts delved into the transformative potential of new pathology technologies, emphasising a shift from viewing diagnostics innovations as costs to investment opportunities and overcoming barriers to the adoption.

Professor Louise Cullen, an emergency physician from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, captured the urgency of the matter, stating, “I am sending somewhere between 60 and 70% of all patients home, so give me the tools and the ability to do that as quickly, efficiently and safely as I can.”

She stressed the significance of point-of-care (POC) pathology in expediting diagnoses, highlighting how minutes saved could translate into more lives touched. “Minutes in the ER make a difference…the difference between getting a result in one hour versus 20 minutes means more time to see more people,” Professor Cullen added.

Echoing this sentiment, Dr Amith Shetty, a former emergency physician, highlighted where the real complexities lie.

“The challenge for me is not the technology, it’s the people we need to change,” he emphasised, underlining the importance of a cultural shift within the healthcare sector.

Martin Canova, Director of Strategy and Transformation at NSW Health Pathology, provided insights into the broader implications of artificial intelligence (AI) and pathology technology adoption, envisioning a future where patients are empowered through data.

“Technology is going to revolutionise the patient experience. The thing that really stands out then is how we bring all the data together. And who’s going to be the custodian and the curator of that information to empower patients?….We have to democratise data so people can start using that collectively,” Mr Canova remarked. He emphasised the pivotal role of AI in interpreting vast amounts of medical data, ensuring timely interventions and personalised care.

Dr Shetty advocated for a paradigm shift in diagnostic approaches, urging the sector to explore beyond confining diagnostics to traditional pathology infrastructures.

“We need to move from point-of-care to in-person at-home testing,” he said, pointing out the need for a more patient-centric approach to healthcare delivery.

However, despite the promising outlook, funding emerged as a significant impediment to widespread adoption and implementation. Mr Canova highlighted the shortcomings of existing funding models, emphasising the need for a holistic approach to financing healthcare initiatives.

In a bold assertion, A/Professor Colman Taylor, Owner and Chief Vision Officer of Htanalysts, challenged the current Medicare system.

“Medicare is on life support and to my mind should be euthanised. The way we’ve structured its payment system does not suit us with novel technologies now and coming into the future. Until we change some of that architecture through reforms, we’re always going to be fighting for the additional dollar. We really need to make sure that we think about the big picture, while we’re thinking about the value proposition that we have in front of us,” he stated.

In reimagining healthcare across the entire patient journey, Health Industry HubTM is the only one-stop-hub bringing the diversity of Pharma, MedTech, Diagnostics & Biotech sectors together to inspire meaningful change.

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