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Regenstrief Think Tank 2014 Conference: Disruptive innovators look at health care


INDIANAPOLIS — One hundred leaders and researchers from health care, technology and other fields — many of them disruptive innovators and agents for change — participated in the 13th Biennial Regenstrief Think Tank 2014 Conference this month.

Regenstrief Conferences have a long tradition of framing novel ideas that generate compelling research projects and effective real-world implementation.

The 2014 gathering provided an exceptional opportunity for discussions about the transformation of health care as well as a rich knowledge exchange about the future of care, according to Regenstrief Institute investigator Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, who chaired the event. Dr. Boustani is the chief operating officer of the Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science, a part of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. He is the Richard M. Fairbanks Professor in Aging Research at Indiana University School of Medicine and the chief innovation and implementation officer at IU Health.

Among the issues developed, dissected and discussed at “The 2014 Regenstrief Institute Think Tank Conference: Using Innovation and Implementation Science to Transform Healthcare” were:

  • Can better health be delivered at lower cost?
  • Can more than 90 percent of current health care services be delivered outside the walls of hospitals and outpatient clinics within the next decade?
  • Can the discovery-to-delivery cycle be reduced from the current 17 years to less than two years?
  • Can and should the health care system be transformed into a hybrid biotech retail industry where innovation, personalization and efficiency are the main components of survivability?
  • Can mobile-based artificial intelligence become the patient’s family clinician? Is Earth ready for Dr. C-3PO?
  • Will the future health care system be simply a complex adaptive information management system?
  • Can we personalize population health management?
  • Can innovation in health care thrive in limited-resources environments?

“These are questions that need experience-based answers, and that knowledge will not come only from health care,” Dr. Boustani said. “If we really want to move ahead with innovations that can be successfully implemented, each of these queries will have more than one  answer, and each answer may well have multiple caveats. The transformation of health care requires effective, carefully considered innovation supported by both research and real-world experience.

“The typical 17 years from discovery to implementation is too long for patients who need care and put their trust in us to wait, as it is too long for health care systems which strive for solutions to difficult entrepreneurial problems.”

The concepts put forward at the conference will be published in several formats in 2015.

“Retreats like the biennial Regenstrief Conference allow outside-of-the-box thinkers from widely different backgrounds to get into each other’s heads in a way that cannot happen in everyday settings where it’s more difficult to be wildly creative,” said William Tierney, M.D., president and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute.

Founded in 1969, the Regenstrief Institute is an internationally respected informatics and health care research organization, recognized for its role in improving quality of care, increasing efficiency of health care delivery, preventing medical errors and enhancing patient safety. In 2015 the Institute will move into a new headquarters building in Indianapolis designed to foster innovation and information exchange.