Clinician Spotlight: Dr. Scott Boden’s Reflections on 2021

As 2021 comes to a close, Dr. Scott Boden reflects on how the COVID-19 pandemic created a demand for innovation year and looks toward future healthcare technologies and initiatives to further reduce provider burnout, optimize patient care, decrease cost, and improve the quality of care. 

About Dr. Scott Boden

Scott Boden, Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Boden is a tenured Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Emory University School of Medicine and serves as the Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Director of the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, Chief Medical Officer/Chief Quality Officer (CMO/CQO) of The Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital, and Vice President of Business Innovation for Emory Healthcare.

In reflecting on 2021, what were some of the most exciting healthcare innovations that surprised you or caught your interest?

Necessity is a driver of innovation. The COVID vaccine was the culmination of combining years of background basic science work, competitive partnerships, and government de-risking to address an urgent global health problem. The widespread nature of testing on over half the population allowed gaining confidence much faster than a new drug for a rare disease. This will have positive ramifications for treating many other medical conditions moving forward with mRNA vaccine.

What are you hoping to see in innovation in healthcare next year?

I’d like to see technology that lightens the workload on providers and decreases burnout.

How about long term, what one or two thing in healthcare are you looking forward to in the next 3-5 years?

Healthcare innovation should address 3 questions: 1) how does this reduce burden/burnout for providers?, 2) how does this improve care for patients?, 3) how does this support the health system’s bottom line? Looking forward to how the internet of things, 5G, cheaper wireless technologies to allow more remote care in patients homes, and less reliance on expensive bricks/mortar facilities can address these questions and decrease the overall cost of care while improving quality. In other words, we need to use innovation for value creation in healthcare.

How do you see a collaborative ecosystem with health systems, health plans, life sciences, technology companies, and high performing startups play a role in this future?

I think everyone needs to be at the table to design solutions that will be financially viable, clinically meaningful, and practical to integrate into the highly complex healthcare workflows.

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