Disruptive technologies in health care?

by Hans on 2005/05/08

Here’s an interesting article from Wired Magazine, titled “First Aid for Health Care“.

In his most recent book, Seeing What’s Next, Clayton Christensen (author of the ever popular The Innovator’s Dilemma) “encourages readers to spot vulnerabilities in the processes, values, and markets of seemingly invulnerable industries”. The writer of the article uses Christensen’s ideas and applies them to health care. Here’s a particularly telling quotation:

Intrigued by this challenge, I searched for the stupidest, most dysfunctional US industry I could find. The automotive and energy industries – beset by entrenched interests, sclerotic management, and stifling oversight – were tempting. But the worst has to be health care. Health care has every quality Christensen lists as dangerous: crippling regulation, overcharged customers, enraged victims with deep grudges, unnecessary goods and services, and a massive base of underserved wretches. The remarkably unhealthy US population blows more money on medicine than any other nation in the world, yet gets sicker anyhow.

Could a radically inventive disruption somehow render the whole tangled mess irrelevant? A system that eats 15 percent of the US gross national product is a broad field for disruptions. Some might bite a few links off the value chain, while others have potential to wreck the whole dysfunctional shebang.

The author examines a few potential “disruptive technologies” that could turn health care on it’s proverbial head. I’m just going to list the items because the descriptions are short. You can read the entire article here.

The potential disruptive technologies include:

I’m not sure that I agree with the writer’s ideas, but he’s got one thing right: health care needs to be “fixed”. It would seem that there’s going to be an increasing amount of scrutiny on health care in the near future. That’s probably for the better. The players in health care probably need the pressure and the push for meaningful reform in order for any meaningful change to happen.

{ 2 comments }

Anonymous May 10, 2005 at 7:09 pm

interesting entry – why not include on the Centre website?

Blue Cross of California December 7, 2005 at 11:49 am

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system. Health insurance is a major aspect to many.

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