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Healthcare CEOs Weigh In On Technology and the Growing Importance of Social Collaboration

Technology is transforming health care in many ways. CEOs of health care businesses think the biggest transformation in the next few years will come from making patients, doctors and health-care workers more communicative and collaborative.

They foresee patients with the same rare diseases coming together in online social networks where they can discuss their symptoms. They see overweight consumers building mutual support networks to share diets and praise exercise. They anticipate that knowledge will be shared so that nurses, pharmacists and social workers can often perform tasks that today are handed to doctors by default.

Every year, IBM surveys hundreds of CEOs from around the globe about a variety of issues. Among 1,700 CEOs surveyed this year there were 58 who head hospitals, medical practice groups and insurers.

The CEO perspective is interesting, because most outsiders don’t think of collaboration as being a key outcome of medical technology. Most of us think of laser-guided surgical instruments or designer drugs or computerized analytics that spot hitherto unnoticed disease-causation chains.

The CEOs overall see technology as a way to open up their organizations to create value through collaboration. Making the organization more transparent makes it easier to share cultural values and goals. And that makes employees more receptive to tough changes, because they understand what’s behind the plan.

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