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multiple systems that work together provides a systematic, repeatable process that supports basic daily activities building data to provide actionable insights to run as efficiently as possible. BABAY: Software is to the modern health-

care landscape what oil is to an engine. Sure, it can run without it, but not for long, and without it everything comes to a screeching halt. As programming continues to evolve, so does the programming landscape itself. As demand for coders increases, more people move into software development to fill the need. This is both a blessing and a curse as not all coders are created equal. In short, in software development, it pays to have a com- petent coding team who truly understands your particular needs and niche. In the development of our HealthSapiens

2.0 platform, for instance, we’ve enlisted a team who specializes in efficient, well-de- signed software in the healthcare field. That’s all they do, and they do it well. By utilizing automatically-executing smart contracts on the Ethereum network, we’ll be able to streamline the payment process for medical care, enable secure sharing of electronic medi- cal records, reduce administrative costs, and ultimately minimize (or eliminate) a lot of wasted healthcare spending. LAWRENCE: Cloud-based, Software-as-a- Service (SaaS) solutions specific to our supply chain model today will continue to evolve and become more flexible, smarter and more connected to other systems. Interconnectivity among all systems being used by providers will take great collaboration among compa- nies that haven’t previously partnered. The Internet of Things (IoT) means more data input from more (and smarter) sources, so we’ll need ways to connect with, identify and absorb that data into our systems. DOWNEY: Dashboards and benchmarks: Supply chains produce significant amounts of data, often in disparate systems without interconnectivity. To ensure the smooth operation of key processes, and trigger the appropriate interventions, dashboards allow for near real-time monitoring. Add in bench- marks, either system-wide or national, and dashboards become not only early warning tools but motivation drivers towards best-in- class operations.

Clinical and supply chain data: At the intersection of an optimal supply chain and best clinical performance is the nirvana for healthcare delivery. The road to that nirvana is paved with data. The challenge is getting the appropriate amount of data, on a large enough scale to be meaningful, yet have the data clean and interconnected enough to be relevant. Once clinical data includes a part number and unit of measure that can be translated to supply data, and then translated

to national clinical and supply data, the data becomes exceptionally powerful. O’NEILL: We will see advanced software to support higher level warehouse and supply chain management functionality in the areas of piece picking, work queue management, task management and courier manage- ment. Ideally theses software solutions with advanced functionality will be designed to manage effectively the full supply continuum for the future health system — into the hospi- tals, to the clean utility rooms and/or patient rooms, and/or to the patients’ homes.

Equipment adds infrastructure Data and artificial intelligence (AI) will be- come increasingly important for hospital sup- ply chain as we become more adept at using machine learning to combine demographic data with supply chain algorithms to influ- ence the way clinicians and supply chain staff work. For example, AI can change the way hospitals approach preference cards in the OR and item standardization. If a computer system is aware of what’s on a preference card and what’s actually being consumed during a procedure and what’s not, AI can be applied to help us learn what physicians are using during specific procedures, thus eliminating the need for preference cards for materials. When you add patient demographic data to the algorithms before a procedure, the algo- rithms can suggest supplies needed based on key physiological factors of the patient. Those supplies can then show up in a forecast without relying on outdated pref cards. Take that one step further and machine learning and data can help hospitals improve forecasting and item stan- dardization based on actual utilization from previous procedures. John Freund, CEO, Jump Technologies

DOWNEY: Control towers are a buzzword

in the logistics industry, and will likely find a future in healthcare supply chain. Properly done, they provide a combination of people, processes and technology to oversee whatever is being “controlled.” As an example, for the flow of material goods, this might be the coor- dination and oversight of material as it moves from manufacturing site to distribution center, through ports and customs and various modes of transport. Technology shows location on displays, and people intervene when deci- sions are needed or interventions necessary. In healthcare supply chains, this could be the same level of attention for critical supplies or shortages, or it could be monitoring perfect order adherence and consignment utilization. Visualization with embedded AI is another example. There is power in vision systems that


are tied to intelligent software. For example, the ability to see a room of clinical supply shelves with a remote camera, visually identify those shelves that are low in stock and place replenishment orders through the supply chain channels, will enable a digital supply replenishment process. BABAY: Amazon’s supply chain is a good example of equipment improving supply chain efficiency (and profitability.) Amazon utilizes a connected fleet of automated fork- lifts, conveyor belts and drones to streamline their (already efficient) delivery system. This eliminates the need employ, pay, insure and accommodate a fleet of human beings — hu- man beings who need breaks, have “off” days, and need time to, ahem, answer nature’s calls. The net result — by removing some of the human element — is profit at scale, despite thin profit margins.

When applied to the healthcare industry, one area we’re excited about at HealthSapiens is in the realm of drone assistance. Physicians could feasibly prescribe a medication (auto- matically-informing the supply chain along the way), and dispatch a delivery drone with medication within seconds to a patient. Drones could assist with drawing blood samples, con- ducting in-person tests, and providing insight based on healthcare data that would otherwise require human time, effort, and expertise. LAWRENCE: We’ll see shifts in today’s sup-

ply chain management equipment. To reduce costs, we must make it more efficient to store, track and consumer products, and we’ll likely see the influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) informa- tion driving more of procurement decisions, in more automated ways. Equipment will continue to become smarter and more com- municative across multiple systems. ALEXANDER-VAUGHN: Mobile devices and tablets allow work to be done where you are, providing quick access to information. Mobile tools also fit the workflow of many supply chain activities — counting inventory, restocking, ordering inventory, and stock picking activities. They work in tandem with supply storage equipment and traditional auto identification tools. O’NEILL: Although most healthcare Con-

solidated Service Centers (CSCs) are not at a scale to justify higher levels of automation, future-scale supply chain models and labor shortages will force leadership to make stra- tegic decisions. Good-to-picker technologies are pervasive in industry and will continue to get more traction (e.g., Autostor/Medline & IU and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), such as Kiva/Amazon, Alpha-bot/Alert Inno- vation/Walmart). Hospitals will also see more AMRs for product delivery and transportation as movement is a large part of the healthcare supply chain. HPN

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