It’s unusual for me to write a personal opinion piece for the iSalus blog but I think it’s time to speak up and give voice to a point of view that appears to be different from that of the masses in society who loudly (and repetitively) proclaim how broken our healthcare system is.
Meanwhile, I’m over here saying, “What? Are you kidding me? It’s not broken – we are.” Stay with me here.
If you can step outside of your own existence and think about healthcare in its entirety you will see that it’s only been in the past 50-60 years that things like the CT Scan or MRI were introduced, life-saving methods to help doctors identify illnesses and understand how to better treat patients so more and more lives are saved. Less than 50 years ago a little thing called an insulin pump was invented and has now saved thousands of lives, if not millions. But let’s not look back to the “days of old.” Let’s just look at the last two decades.
Are you paying attention? Because I am about to blow your mind.
Did you know that by the year 2020 a 3D printer partial liver transplant is expected? That’s right. Oh, and the good folks at Cornell University have managed to print an outer ear that looks and feels like the real thing. Researches from the University of Pennsylvania have partnered with MIT to reproduce blood vessels using a similar process. Let me keep gushing for a sec – did you know that in the past few years an invention called NeuroPace can now be implanted into the brain of those suffering from epilepsy so that their seizures are stopped before they even begin? Did you read that correctly? No more seizures for epileptics!
Without apology, I’m going to reveal a few more incredible things happening in healthcare right now. There’s the discovery of an eye drop that cures cataracts, making the common treatment plan, a painful surgery, unnecessary in most cases. Scientists have also learned how to reprogram T-cells to treat leukemia, and more than half of the people who received the trial treatment had complete remission of their cancer. Finally, there’s the discovery of a cure for Hepatitis C, the bionic eye, hormones for heart treatment, new cancer therapies and an entirely new class of antibiotics (the first in 30 years) that can kill serious infections such as tuberculosis and septicaemia without encountering resistance.
I know. You weren’t talking about the advancement of Healthcare. You were talking about business.
I get it. You’re talking about insurance and government regulations and rising healthcare costs. When you say the healthcare system is broken, you are referring to the fact that the United States currently spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world with worse results. You’re right. And that statement is absolutely true. But I encourage you to stop talking about the broken past and start focusing on the future that is looking straight up to newer and better things – and that relates to business too.
As Chief Marketing Officer for a company with roots in healthcare tech, I often find myself immersed in healthcare legislation, policy, clinical studies and research in order to understand the direction healthcare, as a whole, is headed. When MACRA was released and the entire industry groaned, I dove into the 2,500 pages of legislation and saw a LOT of good. Of course, there was also some bad. But there was a LOT of good. Why does it seem that society wants the glass to be half empty?
Here’s why I don’t think our system is broken any longer:
Simply put, we haven’t given enough time for the wound to heal. Listen, we’re headed in the right direction if everyone would just get on board and focus on the treatment at hand. It’s like a deep laceration that’s had a temporary band aid on it for quite some time. However, the patient has finally realized that the wound needs stitching in order to properly heal. We have the materials ready. Now we just need the healthcare professional to perform the proper methods of stitching for healing to begin.
So, what are those methods in relation to the business of healthcare? I don’t think you’re going to like my answer. However, if you’re open to adjusting your view ever so slightly, maybe you’ll find we can meet in the middle.
What's next for the state of healthcare? And how does it relate to the business of healthcare? Continue reading in part two of 'Why Healthcare is NOT Broken and Increased Patient Engagement Changes Everything.'