Yes, health technology can form the solution for the ever increasing shortage of health care workers. That is the main conclusion of a study done by Dutch consultancy firm Gupta that was published last week (in Dutch). Some of their findings:

– An expected shortage of 135.000 (!) staff members by 2031, mainly in hospital care and elderly care;
– Existing (!) technology, ranging from mobile health to AI and medical applications, has the potential to cover for 110.000 of those jobs;
– In hospital care, MedTech can promote prevention. In elderly care, technology can enable health care workers to increase the number of clients that they can take care of at the same time.

The consultants also identify some important thresholds that have yet to be overcome in order to actually benefit from the potential that technology has. They mention a lack of sense of urgency, a lack of knowledge, and a lack of scale as the most important challenges.

At Branch Unlimited, we fully concur with their statement that technology has the potential to solve major challenges such as the increasing lack of staff in the health care sector. And although we firmly believe that true care for true people, is given by true people, we are just as adamant in our belief that the support of technology is essential in securing that kind of human-centred care for the future. That is why we continuously scout relevant solutions, and support the companies that have developed these solutions, in reaching ever more people.

We recognize the thresholds that the report identifies. But in our view, they describe the average, and we feel that it is important to look beyond that average. If we do that, we see that there are plenty of organizations (or specialists within organizations) to be found that are actively looking for, and implementing innovations. The key questions are: who are they, where are they, and how can you approach them the best way? This is exactly why we at Branch Unlimited continuously invest in our local networks, and our ability to reach out to relevant innovation-minded people. It helps us to build the bridges that are needed to solve the problem of the increasing staff shortages in health care, and to ensure that valuable solutions can reach the people that benefit the most from them.