From left to right: Mark Middleton (Icon Group, Australia) and Andrew Whitman (Siemens Healthineers).
The workforce crisis has been examined more deeply in the second segment of the Executive Summit 2022. Mark Middleton, CEO of the Icon Group, evidenced the importance of technology in the labor shortage, explaining how it revolutionized the Icon Group’s operations, with teams adopting cutting-edge technology to continue providing crucial care.
Middleton said they began by concentrating on radiotherapy planning to solve the skills gap and foster continual innovation regardless of geographical barriers. It’s not necessary, he said, to schedule it “at the same hospital where the patient has been receiving care.” Based in Brisbane, the Icon Group plans it for Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and China with the support of a highly qualified team and AI, offering accurate and trustworthy interpretations of diagnostic scans, tumor volumes, and contouring.
The technology let Icon quickly implement a remote learning model provided by nurses via face-to-face online classrooms and an online self-paced learning platform in the dual language during the COVID-19 crisis when a quick response was critical. Icon utilized augmented reality goggles to replace in-person examinations, enabling healthcare specialists in Australia to observe, advise, and evaluate their Chinese colleagues in real-time. According to Middleton, “a group of cancer nurses in Rwanda” were trained by the Icon Group using this strategy.
Middleton explained that no data leaves the country and provinces in which they operate when asked how to execute such a successful approach while maintaining data confidentiality. The Icon specialists can link directly to the Varian systems on the ground in China, while a radiation therapist in China assists with implementing the plan.
Icon owns 68% of the Australian market for chemotherapeutic compounding. Likewise, technological advancements enabled a plethora of novel approaches to customized chemotherapy, and more importantly, it made it possible to deliver chemotherapy. Middleton envisions a future where drones may carry chemotherapy, saying, “we can if we are prepared to broaden our perspective and do things differently.” Middleton concluded the discussion by saying that the most crucial factor is encouraging employees to embrace technology by giving them a compelling incentive. Icon Group has leveraged technology in these examples to enable economies of scale, automation, and remote services, contributing to more efficient work processes and allowing more patients to benefit from care.
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