Episode 30: DP Brightful: Reimagining Healthcare’s Future

DP Brightful, Executive Vice President of Health and Life Sciences at Salesforce, shares his predictions for the next 10 years of healthcare innovation.

DP Brightful knows technology can directly improve people’s lives and experiences; it’s why he was so excited to bring his years of tech industry expertise into the healthcare space when he joined Salesforce.

Brightful believes that with the proper innovation and application, healthcare companies can leverage technology to improve every aspect of the customer experience

In this episode of How I Transformed This, Virsys12 founder and CEO Tammy Hawes and her co-host Clark Buckner talk with Brightful about his vision for the future of the industry. He also explains how the changes we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to drive innovation well into the future.

Understanding Technology’s Potential

Many healthcare companies have traditionally resisted change, but Brightful wants people to realize that technology has many benefits outside of just convenience.

“It’s one thing to leverage technology generically, but specifically what we have the opportunity and privilege to do in health and life sciences, is as we improve the customer experience, we ultimately can enrich people’s lives too,” he explained.

With technology, healthcare providers can improve the quality of their care, broaden patients’ access to care, lower costs, and empower individuals to take control of their own health.

In order to accomplish these things, Brightful stressed that companies need to reimagine the future of healthcare. To do so, there’s no better partner than an organization like Salesforce, which was thinking about innovation years earlier than most.

Integrating Healthcare into Everyday Life

When Brightful thinks about the evolution of healthcare, he compares it to a company like Amazon. 10 years ago, we never would have imagined how many parts of our lives would intersect with Amazon, but now it’s an integral part of many people’s day-to-day experience. 

Similarly, healthcare today is mostly contained in short visits with a provider and picking up prescriptions at a pharmacy. But Brightful imagines a future where healthcare centers around wearable devices like a watch or a piece of clothing that can constantly monitor our vitals. Those devices would integrate with an app on our phone that could then suggest health plans for you based on the information it receives. 

In a system like this, healthcare would not only be limited to traditional providers, but it could include recommendations like meditation and natural supplements. 

“Think about the way and the manner in which we receive healthcare. We go out and seek it,” Brightful explained. “What happens if it was there, and it seeks us and it surrounds us, and we just interact with it in a very natural way in the devices inside of our lives? I think that’s what we’re going to see, and I think it’s going to broaden access to care.”

Not only would this make healthcare more convenient, but it could also broaden people’s access, helping individuals who don’t have great medical care in their areas. 

And as these innovations become the norm, companies will need to get onboard in order to stay viable. 

“Healthcare organizations that don’t embrace that change, they’re going to be consumed by those that do,” Brightful argued. 

How COVID-19 is Driving Change

Telehealth has taken on new levels of importance during the COVID-19 pandemic, but beyond that, Brightful also pointed out that companies that use cloud-based technologies were able to adapt more quickly. 

This agility has always been an important feature of the cloud and has given innovative companies a competitive advantage, but during the pandemic, suddenly human lives were dependent on it as well. 

“We have to move with urgency. We have people’s lives on the line, so it also has to be balanced with precision. But nonetheless there’s an acceleration that’s needed,” Brightful shared. 

“We’re going to need leaders to really think broadly about that, challenge ourselves, hold ourselves to high degrees of accountability and move faster, because the opportunity has never been greater to really impact human health in a way that maybe not might have even been imaginable 20-30 years ago.”

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