Needed: New breed of digital health tools

So far we have been used to medical breakthroughs in treatment of various conditions in terms of new medicines, where a new pill can be the solution to serious conditions and ailments of various sorts. The new and highly successful obesity drug from Danish manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, is just one example.

But every time a new drug pops up, questions are raised: Wouldn’t it be better to preempt the condition – if at all possible – rather than wait until it occurs and then try to provide medical treatment against it?

Some of those arguments go towards thinking of digital services and tools as a way of being more preemptive and over time reduce the need for often very costly medical treatment. The thinking is that we have the ability to provide tools and services of such a quality that it will efficiently be able to support or even replace doctors looking to preempt serious health conditions.

The argument does have some merit. We do indeed have a lot of knowledge about how to prevent things from happening, and we also have the most basic abilities towards putting those ‘recipes’ into digital tools and services. Yet, we still seem to fall back on high hopes for new drugs and treatments.

I think there is a very good reason for this; preemptive treatment while making a ton of sense is super, super hard for the patient. Think about it for a second: There are limitless examples of people trying to preempt a condition with the support of doctors, coaches, dietitians and whatever, and most of the time, these people still don’t succeed. Often because of the lack of stamina.

Thus I think it’s about time to start thinking about the next generation of digital health tools and services. This will be tools and services that should not only be looking to repackage what is already known about how to prevent certain conditions from occurring. They should also – and perhaps even more – be about how to grow stamina in the patients to help them succeed with the preemptive project so to say.

Until we have digital health tools and services that cater for those more psychological factors in more profound ways, I don’t think digital will play the pivotal role in keeping future costs of medical treatment down that many – including myself – would love to see.

(Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash)

It’s not about the tools

Ken Norton is right.

“The wrong tool is worse than no tool at all.”

Ken Norton

Over the years I have tried a myriad of tools, models, methods and processes, and the one thing I have learned is that none of them are perfect in themselves. It is how you mix them up depending on your specific need and how you use them that matter.

That is probably also one of the reasons why I love working with Miro as a collaboration platform and especially their rich library of templates for various approaches, models, methods and processes; the tool allows me in effect to create my own on the fly depending on my specific needs at the time.

When I work with my own dish of models and methods and glance it over, you probably won’t be able to make much sense of it, and you most definitely won’t find it one-to-one in any tool or textbook. Nonetheless, it works. For me and for the project, I am working on.

It helps us move things forward. In a pragmatic, yet structured way. And the same approach could work for you too.

So do yourself a favor: Don’t let yourself be a slave of a model or a philosophy. Take an open-ended pragmatic view on things and just like a carpenter choose the right tool for the right task.

It will serve you and what you’re trying to achieve best.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Trello and OKR

When trying to build a startup ground up, there are a ton of different tasks that need to get done. And keeping track of it all is essential.

But how do you do that efficiently?

For me I have resorted to using a combination of Trello and OKR.

We use OKR’s to define our objectives. We essentially view those as desired outcomes where it’s up to the people involved to do whatever is necessary or efficient to achieve said outcome.

It turns our that Trello is pretty good at keeping track of those objectives. And in a very simple way:

What we do is essentially to take our objective, create a new board and then name that board with the text of the objective.

By doing that we have a consolidated view of objectives, and we can dig into the individual objective, define key results and work on those in a kanban way, while we comment, assign tasks across team members and much more.

The key here is that if we want to get an update on where we’re currently at with the work towards a specific objective, we can just dig into that specific board.

Of course it still takes discipline to work within the confines of Trello and make sure that it gets used, and we’re still rehearsing on making sure that happens.

But so far our experiences are good. And I highly recommend it as an efficient method for keeping track of your progress against your OKRs.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Corona thoughts, part 7

When we discuss the future of (remote) work, we should not only discuss the various digital tools that enable this but also the foundation for it all to work: Great, stable connectivity.

At the start of the lockdown, I finally got our household on the new fiber connection, I ordered almost a year ago. Before that we had TV, laptops, iPads and mobile phones on a wobbly 20Mb on/off connection through copper that would have completely crashed with the added stress of fulltime remote work for two people AND home schooling.

In other words: We were lucky to get a bump up connection in time. And I have a sense that access to the right connectivity will be yet another divider of the haves and have nots going forward. Because if your basic infrastructure is not in place and up for the job, no fancy tools are going to make you efficient from a distance.

PS: My now soon-to-be-former provider adviced me to not send their router back but instead ship it to a museum. Funny, although…interesting…that a provider charges premium prices for something they know is antiquated.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

What is a great tool?

One of the keys to efficiency is to have a great box of tools fit for the task(s) at hand. For the same reason we’re constantly working to put the best toolbox at InQvation Studio together.

We already have some sharp tools in the box – Trello for overview, Mural for ideation, Lean Stack for jotting down high-level concepts for test etc – but we’re looking for more that fits the bill: Efficient yet flexible downstream while maintaining structure and oversight upstream.

The general idea is that no tool should be too rigid while at the same time not being so flexible that it becomes a total mess to manage. A tall order, it seems. Have you come across any that fits the description? It so please reach out.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)