Healthovate Cincinatti: How Konica Minolta Co-creates Solutions for the Future

by Guillermo Sander

How Konica Minolta Uses Design Thinking - Innovation Excellence

Konica Minolta Medical Imaging to Convene Healthcare Community at Healthovate! Activate! Summit

Design Thinking

Design Thinking is not just for product development. It’s also a valuable tool that can help medical equipment providers (manufacturers) understand the clinical needs of today and how new and improved technologies can help clinicians adapt to the changing healthcare landscape and further enhance patient care for tomorrow–from patient diagnosis through treatment strategies to patient recovery.

A healthcare system undergoing transformation

The US healthcare system is undergoing a significant transformation from a volume based to a value based reimbursement system. While this change is impacting clinicians across all specialties, medical imaging is facing a continued reduction in reimbursement … placing additional economic constraints on the practice, clinic or hospital. Clinicians are being asked to do more with less.  In many cases, workflow and productivity alone cannot counter these reductions.

What clinicians and facilities need are cost effective tools that provide economic value through more efficient, lower cost exams that can be used for rapid rule in or rule out of disease, or to help warrant the use of additional, and sometimes more expensive, imaging studies. Clinicians need solutions that give them the confidence to make patient care decisions without exposing the patient to costly, unnecessary testing that may not be reimbursable. To do this, clinicians need reliable, worry free solutions they can depend on at the point of care—namely Digital Radiography and Ultrasound—which encompass 70% of the diagnostic medical imaging studies performed today. They also need patient information that is readily available when and where needed through integrated healthcare IT systems implemented and supported by expert service teams.

Together, these technologies are known as Primary Imaging Solutions.

Co-creating with customers

Konica Minolta Medical Imaging is a leading provider of Primary Imaging Solutions. The company’s President and COO, David Widmann, explains, “Konica Minolta is committed to understanding our customers’ clinical needs and providing solutions that deliver economic value, clinical confidence and worry free operation in a rapidly changing healthcare environment. Embracing a co-creation concept with our customers and other industry academia / luminaries will help Konica Minolta identify clinical needs and gaps in technology and information, as well as potential novel uses of existing technology.    It is our belief that co-creation in Design Thinking—and bringing together industry and academia—will help deliver measurable clinical benefits and innovations for many years to come.”

To facilitate co-creation in Design Thinking, Konica Minolta is working with the Center for Innovation at Xavier University and the ongoing Healthovate! Activate! Summit, which blends focused and informal engagement with industry leaders. The group will share experiences and rapidly learn from and  co-create Primary Imaging Solutions to address the evolving needs of their practices and patients. A key goal is to identify specific challenges being faced by the group and find new customer centric solutions to meet those needs. The Design Thinking workshop will take place on October 12, 2015, at Xavier University’s Center for Innovation in the metro Cincinnati area.

For the Healthovate! Activate! Summit, and the Design Thinking workshop, the focus will be to explore how Primary Imaging Solutions can further help address healthcare’s  pressing issues – affordability, accessibility, and patient satisfaction.

Diane Hunt, Konica Minolta Medical Imaging Vice President of Marketing, the Americas, said, “Many of our colleagues in the healthcare community are not familiar with the variety of ways Primary Imaging Solutions can contribute to their practice — positively impacting workflow and practice efficiencies while providing quick and accurate diagnostic information that benefit both the healthcare professional and the patient. We are excited to see how various providers want to use and shape Primary Imaging Solutions across the full spectrum of healthcare institutions: hospitals, outpatient facilities, including urgent care centers and doctors’ offices, homecare and telehealth.”

Shawn Nason, the Chief Innovation Officer for Xavier University said, “We believe that Design Thinking will uncover new ways to approach the challenges of today’s changing healthcare environment. For Konica Minolta, the goal is to use Design Thinking to co-create with the community to gain valuable insights and find new solutions to maximize the economic value while improving clinical confidence. It’s the kind of challenge the Center for Innovation wants to help address.”

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    Guillermo Sander is Senior Product Manager, Digital Radiography, Konica Minolta Medical Imaging. He has had a variety of regional and global  roles in marketing and product development for manufactures and distributor roles in Healthcare and data communications, including GE Healthcare as global product manager for Mobile Radiology.