Fascinating project coming out of the Bay Area this week:
This month, Apple joined eBay, HP, Intel, Intuit and Oracle in an "unprecedented" joint philanthropic effort to help Stanford Medical Center build a new $2 billion hospital, designed to use the latest technology available in ways mirroring the innovation of Silicon Valley tech companies.
More than just contributing resources, the partners will work with New Stanford Hospital planners to develop innovative new approaches to providing patient access, information, education and navigation, a program that "has the ability to change the face of health care," according to Stanford Hospital president and chief executive Amir Dan Rubin.
When looking at the connection that exists between technology providers and the healthcare industry, we're used to seeing a vendor-customer relationship at work; innovation exists in manufacturer's laboratories and is adopted by hospitals as needed. To have this level of involvement between such a unique body of non-healthcare partners in technology should make for a wonderful case in peeling back the way healthcare works (and doesn't work) in a bubble. This will be a project worth watching.
Take a look at a brief promotional tour of the project, courtesy Stanford. The talking head here is Ron Johnson, Apple, Inc's senior vice president of retail. Johnson is the man behind the Apple Store retail experience. Not that his involvement should be an indicator of what you can expect when you hit the new hospital (healthcare Genius Bars?), but you can't say there aren't senior leaders involved who haven't given any thought to how people interact with service centers!