Jan 19, 2024 - Axios Events

Axios House at the 2024 World Economic Forum: Building Trust in Innovative Health Technology

Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla on the Axios stage during the VFTT segment. Credit: Dani Ammann Photography on behalf of Axios

New technologies are improving providers' patient services outcomes, but many consumers are still apprehensive. Healthcare leaders spoke to the advances in innovative technology and how it can create better access to quality care at Axios House Davos, Switzerland for the 2024 World Economic Forum.

Health systems were built for an era when the focus was about "treating acute injuries in the war," Medtronic LABS President Ruchika Singhal told Axios' Niala Boodhoo.

  • What they're saying: Ruchika says that as society evolved, our health system hasn't. "We cannot keep up with building hospitals and training enough doctors."

Yes, but: Technology's advancement has the potential to improve the healthcare industry drastically. Ruchicka says predictive technology has the power to change healthcare from focusing on the sickness to focusing on health.

For rural and tribal communities, access to healthcare is an ongoing crisis. Especially when it comes to obstetrics where more than 50% of hospitals located near rural areas don't offer what could be lifesaving care to women, says Sanford Health President & CEO Bill Gassen.

  • Sanford Health's virtual health initiative is aiming to bridge that gap through multiple ways, like remote patient monitoring.

But, but, but: The healthcare workforce shortage is a "chief challenge" for Gassen, and immigration issues are having an impact.

  • He says with a thousand open positions, they contracted over 900 nurses internationally but because of immigration difficulties, only 300 are working currently. "Access to those J-1 visas, access to those H-1bs are critically important for us to continue to provide that world class care to our patients."
  • He added that AI is now helping to address some of the workforce shortage.

Sponsored content:

In a View From the Top sponsored conversation, Pfizer CEO and Chairman Albert Bourla says developing the trust of people is an "important component" of implementing AI technology.

  • He says he's not concerned about whether AI technology will deliver results, but he's "more concerned if people will embrace [it.]"
  • Some ways that can help people embrace AI is by educating them and for them to see others, like their physicians, use the AI technology first, says Bourla.

Thank you to Pfizer for sponsoring this event.

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