Dr. Sebastian Krolop, a physician, economist and technology consultant, will help chart worldwide plans and policies for HIMSS. He says he's focused on member experience and enabling more patient-centered healthcare.

HIMSS names new Global Chief Operating & Strategy Officer

By Mike Miliard
02:26 PM

Dr. Sebastian Krolop has joined HIMSS as its new Global Chief Operating & Strategy Officer.

At HIMSS, the parent company of Healthcare IT News, Krolop will work to align strategic direction and operational goals as the membership organization helps health systems in countries around the world drive digital transformation and leverage information and technology for better health.

Krolop, who is from Germany, had previously served as HIMSS board chair.

He most recently worked at Deloitte, where he was a partner and industry lead for healthcare and life sciences. His other past experience includes Philips Healthcare, where he oversaw transformation services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Accenture, where he charted strategy for health and public services in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Krolop started his career as a physician, and has worked in the anesthesiology department at the Heidelberg University Hospital.

Since then, his two decades of consulting experience across three continents – not just his clinical and life science expertise but insights into technology, management and financial services – made him well-suited for his new role: aligning the operational goals and strategic vision of HIMSS, HIMSS Analytics, HIMSS Media and more.

"As a past chair of the HIMSS Board of Directors Sebastian has a strong familiarity with HIMSS and a clear appreciation for our mission," said HIMSS President and CEO Hal Wolf in a statement. "Sebastian has an excellent strategic mind with detailed understanding of the global health ecosystem."

Wolf added: "Having our COSO based in Germany will add to our dedication and growth in the international markets."

From eminence to evidence

Krolop tells Healthcare IT News that he's excited for what he says is a pivotal moment in healthcare, as technology and societal imperatives foment big changes in how care is delivered and paid for.

"We're seeing major changes in the industry, primarily driven by technology," said Krolop.

"We see the disruption in other industries, and healthcare will be hit hard," he added. "The way we're looking at diagnosis and therapies today will be radically changed tomorrow through technology."

Despite very different payment models and varying levels of technological maturity in countries around the world, most nations are facing the same fundamental changes when it comes to healthcare, said Krolop: high regulation, technological transformation, and disruption as consumerism changes priorities and new players attempt attempt to break into the market.

"Healthcare used to be highly regional and local, but I think the solutions we're going to see tomorrow are going to be much more global," he said. "And regulations will have to adapt to that."

From a doctor-patient perspective, Krolop sees a key shift taking place, between two similar-sounding words: eminence and evidence.

"There's a switch going on, from what I call eminence – where you listen to a doctor and he tells you to take this pill or that you need this surgery, and there's a level of trust – to the data-driven, technology-driven evidence," he said. "There's so much knowledge being generated every single day. Gene sequencing. AI. 3D printing. As a physician, I think that's a great step forward."

Now, the discussion has to be about "how we're going to shape that to really drive value for the patients," said Krolop. Healthcare tries, but isn't always patient-centric. Sometimes the incentive is not necessarily getting you well, but more being part of the reimbursement system. I'm pretty sure that's going to change. And I think that's really good."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.