Image from fastcompany.com
In March, Fast Company magazine recently released their “10 Most Innovative Companies in Health Care” list for 2011. Somehow the article about it popped up on our Google Reader last week, so we decided to take a look. The list didn't seem to get much attention the first time around, and it's worth taking another look now.
The list ranges from industrial titan GE, recognized for their vastly miniaturized handheld ultrasound machine, to the Cleveland Clinic, for “rethinking the entire hospital experience.” Nice to see companies on the list who are focusing on making medicine better, rather than simply making it more technologically advanced.
Epocrates and Voxiva, in particular, are innovating in ways that could both improve patient health and reduce unnecessary medical spending. Voxiva is a mobile phone-based system for encouraging smokers, diabetes patients, and pregnant women to take care of themselves. Thecompanies' main work has been in developing countries, where mobile phones can be a critical connection to a sketchy health care system. Epocrates gives doctors access to a massive database of drug prescribing information, including dosage information and potential interactions with other drugs. That could help cut down on the thousands of people killed each year by medication errors. They're also working on getting doctors bedside access to patients' electronic medical records, which could further improve providers' access to crucial information.
Congratulations to all the companies listed, and we look forward to hearing all about their next projects. Props also to Fast Company, for looking at the broader medical landscape for the real innovators in a crucial field. We'll be thrilled to report on their new list (when it actually comes out, this time!) in 2012.