Close up image of a caretaker helping older woman walk

Innovation in healthcare may depend on the concept of “co-opetition,” i.e. cooperative competition, which is largely dormant in the long-term care market, one industry leader says. But providers can be a driving force in new ideas coming to market, he said.

“As I look at healthcare, and especially senior living, that concept doesn’t exist. What I’d like to see happen is frankly the people who buy from us to be more demanding,” said Intel-GE Care Innovations CEO Louis Burns. “Demand the things we used are built on standards. That’s a huge opportunity to reduce cost.”

The six LTC LINKTank competitors show that innovation is possible, agreed Burns, who was interviewed by McKnight’s Editorial Director John O’Connor at the LTC LINK conference in Chicago Monday.

“I was pretty surprised, in a positive way, with some of the very well thought out concepts they brought today,” Burns said.

O’Connor and Burns were among the judges on the LINKTank Senior Care Innovation Competition. The other judges were Rick Barker, vice president of information technology at Silverado Senior Living; Scott Collins, CEO and president of Link-age; John Reinhart, president and CEO of InnovateLTC; and Jeff Makowka, senior strategic advisor, thought leadership, AARP.

The winner of the LTC LINKTank competition was WalkJoy, a wearable device that aids in the restoration of gait. The other contestants were BAM Labs Inc., which has smart bed technology; CoPatient Inc., a medical billing advocate company; Liberate Medical LLC, which is working on devices that can help wean people from ventilators and help them with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; ReMind, a medication adherence company, and Social Code, which provides closed online communities.

Click above to see the video, or here to read the transcript.