Why we wrote a book about transformation of healthcare

By InDiv - september 9, 2022

Let me take you back to 2020. For many amongst us this was the year of COVID-19. For me it was a year in which I learned that the human body is utterly fragile, even if you take good care of it. I already had my share of health issues, but I did overcome these through a proper diet with good nutrition, combined with physical training. That worked for me. Of course, it didn’t mean that I couldn’t get sick anymore. 

I got sick in 2020. Not COVID, but a regular infection that was treated with a very common antibiotic. Unfortunately, it turned out that I was severely allergic to that type of antibiotic. How severe? Well, I ended up with the diagnosis GBS: Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Couldn’t move. Couldn’t speak. I recovered after treatment with immunoglobulin. 

I’m a control freak and a tech nerd. Surely, I thought after this misadventure, there must be ways that could have prevented this happening to me. With artificial intelligence it must be possible to predict how I react to specific medication. And if so, extreme high costs could have been prevented. Now, I spent weeks in hospital, receiving expensive treatment for something caused by another treatment. It could all have been prevented with the help of cutting-edge technology. AI. Precision diagnosis through genome technology. Blockchain for medicinal trials. We have the tech. Why didn’t we use it in healthcare and improve the lives of billions? 

It’s not as simple as that. It’s a transformation and a transformation takes time. There’s a massive scope for digital health solutions, but a lot of them remain untapped. The reason: the misconception that technology is the sole driver for invoking change. 

Technology is an important driver for change and transformation, but it requires more than just technology: medical staff, supporting staff, and patients including their community need to embrace it. We need a methodology to bring it all together: people, organizations, and technology by creating a shared, common understanding. It turned out that I shared this vision with quite a number of people, including the youngest brother of my father, Henry Mulder. He’s been involved in healthcare transformation much longer than me and was already planning to write a book about it. It didn’t take long to decide to team up and start writing that book as a joint effort.

The book provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges, the opportunities, and the approaches in architecture and transformation. It includes the impact of new technologies but addresses primarily a methodology for common understanding. The framework is referred to as TISH: Transformation in Sustainable Healthcare. TISH is applying the principles of other major frameworks such as OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) and something we dubbed DevOps4Care: since the transformation must be done step by step, iterative, working from user – better: patient – stories. The working principles of DevOps can be very well translated to transformation steps to create a more sustainable, global healthcare system, truly patient-centric.  

I’m extremely proud of the book. It has been an intensive, yet awesome ride – also from a very personal view. Hope you appreciate it. 

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