HHV Workshop on ‘The Future of Personalised Medicine’

Eszter Kormann
3 min readAug 31, 2021

An ideal patient journey — visions for the future

As part of HHV’s third meetup on ‘Precision medicine — how can we tailor our available treatments?’ HHV collaborated with remote workshop and design thinking expert Lisa Weinsberger to bring a short digital workshop to explore our mutual vision on how the patient journey might look like in 5 years. Professionals from start-ups, corporates, innovation field and the healthcare system attended. Guided by dr. Vonda Wright’s impulse keynote, the participants aimed to ideate for the future in order to stay ahead of the curb and identify trends, wishes and dreams of an ideal healthcare journey.

Problems with the ‘One-size-fits-all’ approach

The workshop kicked off with discussing the main problems arising from the currently mainstream ‘one size fits all’ approach. Problems were outlined by the participants in the area of detection, treatment, ‘one-size-fits-all’, policies and prevention. The ‘working alone together’ method allowed the participants to brainstorm without relying on each other’s input, then discuss the issues in a structured manner. Issues of neglecting race, gender and other factors in medical research as well as the low availability of medical records and lack of pointed data collection identifying patterns- similarities and differences between patients were briefly discussed. However, participants agreed to a large extent that what really is lacking from our current status is putting emphasis on prevention in medical practices. More precisely, workshop attendees wanted answers to the following questions:

  1. at what age should we start fostering preventative mindset,
  2. how could we motivate people to seek out prevention, and, importantly,
  3. how should preventative medicine be reimbursement.

Sailing into a more precision-based future

With these precisely defined questions in mind, the participants jumped on the heart of the workshop: the sailboat exercise. With this method, a problem can be more easily approached by using the metaphor of a sailing expedition. Participants had to rethink the main ideas and issues around bringing prevention to the forefront of medicine. First, the implementable benefits of precision medicine for patients were clarified, keeping a 5-year perspective in mind. Participants envisioned a healthcare that is not solely for the sick, but also involves the routine application of preventative measures for the young and healthy (aiming for not becoming a patient). Some aspects for this were also defined in terms of detection — at home sampling and AI-based diagnostics were strongly wished for. Finally, attendees dreamt of a system that empowers patients to feel more in control of their health and treatment regimen.

No journey is without rocks and anchors

After outlining the desired vision for the future, participants had to ideate on what are the factors can move this ship forward, vs what barriers can potentially hold the progress of innovation back. When it comes to the ‘Wind’ of taking stakeholders closer to a more prevention-focused care, attendees deemed startups (innovation projects), efficient and bidirectional communication, patient and doctor education and incentive and community programs important. Not surprisingly, when it comes to the ‘Crew’: stakeholders that could accelerate this process, the board displayed each and every participant of the healthcare ecosystem. Data sharing incapabilities were named the most important barrier (‘Rocks’) that stakeholders have navigate around. Finally, participants listed the internal ‘Anchors’ to the boat; factors that can slow progress down or create friction. The three main deceleration force was the slowness of regulatory processes, lack of funding and lack of patient and doctor education.

Let us know what you think the most important factors are in accelerating and slowing the journey of making healthcare more patient-centric and treatments more personalised!