Healthcare Visionaries Lead the Way

Technology is moving much faster than the snail’s pace of government and regulation. It is an exciting time to be – not just in healthcare – but to be alive.

I’ve been hanging around the virtual water cooler in healthcare for two decades, and now the promise of technology as it affects and improves our lives is beginning to come to fruition. With that, here is a roundup and just a few developments and their significance to the future of healthcare from a medical, business and financial perspective.

Med-Tech: At the head of the futurist pack is Dr. Peter Diamandis, known for oh-so-many things including a founder of the X-PRIZE, Singularity University and the Human Longevity Institute. In his May 19 Abundance Insider, he looks  at a bionic hand developed in the UK “capable of grasping objects without the wearer’s focused thoughts.  The researchers created a convolutional neural network training the hand and its algorithm on the images of over 500 objects in various orientation and lighting conditions with four programmed grasps that you might use to pick up things.”  Go to the link to see the video. Under that entry, you can read the next story about an 18-year-old Mexican student who designed a bra that detects breast cancer.

Health Biz-Tech: The business of healthcare is all about how we pay for medical services and the structure of the business model. Our current system is focused on an insurance-based payment model. Already, insurance companies are toying with issuing insurance policies in real time based on your current medical history that involves instantaneous analysis of your condition, the company’s risk and what it will cost you to be covered by them. This could blow all the regulations out of the water. It could also call into question the current model of trying to cover everyone with insurance and could instigate a movement to have us begin to look at a different business model completely, especially in light of the kind of Med-Tech advances in the pipeline that will completely alter our outcomes and lifespan.

Health Fin-Tech: How and why certain goods and services get paid keep many an insurance agent, claims administrator and government regulator up at night., not to mention the security people who need to lock down our data to maintain patient privacy. The blockchain has the promise of changing the financial world, and healthcare payments and security will be part of this revolution. I am attending a Meetup of blockchain people in my area this Saturday and I’ll report back at some point.

They say those in a movement need to either lead, follow or get out of the way.

At some point in the history of the evolution of healthcare, government was in a position to lead. In the past few years, it has been in the unfortunate position of having to follow as technical advances outpaced the ability of government to legislate and regulate at the pace of change. Now it is time for government to get out of the way. At some point, we’ll need to regulate for safety and security reasons. But this is not that time.


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