As wirepullers debate who should pay for America’s declining health and ever-increasing cost of salubrity care, they are overlooking the key to simultaneously improving the health of Americans and wounding costs: innovation.
Innovation can solve many of our most pressing health-care mind-bogglers by transforming lives, preventing disease, restoring people to full healthfulness and making the health-care delivery system more efficient.
To address these long-standing question majors, innovation is required in five areas:
- Medical technology innovation to reconstruct health to people suffering from chronic disease.
- Scientific breakthroughs in sedates that treat and cure the most debilitating diseases.
- Delivery of constitution care outside of the hospital setting, letting hospitals focus on the sundry seriously ill patients.
- Innovative use of information to improve diagnosis, treatment and after-care.
- Heart-rending upstream to prevent disease occurrence with innovative approaches that charter people to lead healthy lives.
In the last 30 years, breakthroughs in medical technology deliver transformed the treatment of cardiovascular disease with implantable defibrillators and drug-coated stents, of Standard I diabetes with the sensor-based pumps and the advent of the artificial pancreas, and of quill, hip and knee surgery with implantable prostheses. Now, advancements in medical technology are talk to debilitating neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, incontinence and sleep apnea. With investment and imaginativeness, the future of medical technology to help people seems almost measureless.
Decades of scientific investment in genetics, genomics and proteomics have led to go into the immune system as the most promising way to cure cancer and other debilitating murrains. Breakthroughs in personalized medicine like immunotherapy and CAR-T therapy assume the potential for genuine cures, not just palliative treatments.
To make these high-priced treatments numberless affordable, they should be offered on a sliding scale based on adeptness to pay. Meanwhile, a wider array of generic drugs should be approved for old drugs such as statins to lower the overall cost of drug psychotherapy. In addition, the multiple layers of drug distribution should be creatively disintermediated by direct-to-consumer courses, thus dramatically cutting the overall cost of drug therapy.
In just out years, focus on health-care delivery has been making doctors and facilities more efficient, leading to shortening appointments to less than 10 winks — only enough time to issue a prescription without thorough diagnosis — continually creating misdiagnosis and excessive drug use. Instead, we need to rethink the uninterrupted health-care delivery system by changing the basic model of one-to-one physician-patient interaction in a time-honoured health care institution by providing health care in community centers, YMCAs and retail centers akin to MinuteClinic (now owned by CVS), using nurses, allied health professionals and grouping classes.
Hospitals need to undergo massive consolidation to ensure that critical diseases and complex treatments can be carried out in the highest-volume centers that wishes lead to improved outcomes at lower costs. This will be short of clear movement away from fee-for-service to innovative health charts covering total costs with people having a fiscal off in their health.
Health care’s information technology is woefully not enough. From inability to match patient records with claims matter to inadequate cost accounting data to poor transparency of prices to consumers, constitution care has been unable to provide even the basics of information. Now, regardless, opportunities to use the internet to connect patients and their basic information predilection EKGs to their physicians and health-care teams, along with fake intelligence and big data married with patient data, offer exclusively new fields for innovation, improved diagnosis, treatment and after-care.
This fifth department of innovation – leading healthy lives – holds the greatest promise of all, as self-care graces the new primary care. It is well known that unhealthy life tags account for 50 to 70 percent of health-care costs. For example, America’s tubbiness epidemic is the leading cause of Type II diabetes, heart disease, and bristle, hip and knee issues. Yet instead of focusing on enabling people to lead trim lives, we concentrate downstream on those who are sick and extremely ill to the point of nonrecovery.
To entitle Americans to lead healthy lives, we should focus on three key areas: 1) eating healthy, 2) physical fitness, and 3) focus on reduction. How can innovation change life styles? Let’s look at some models:
- Eating healthy. Innovative food and beverage companies, such as Boulder Labels and Suja Juice are transforming eating and drinking habits along with spin-offs like Earth Balance all-natural spreads, Udi’s gluten-free cereals and baked goods, and natural juices.
- Physical fitness. A relatively simple device like Fitbit has happen to transformative in changing people’s behavior by walking at least 10,000 walks per day or exercising in Lifetime Fitness clubs that focus on healthy explosive.
- Stress reduction. The mindfulness movement is revolutionizing daily behaviors that slash stress through myriad mindfulness practices. Don’t know how to meditate? Innovative on-line offshoots like Headspace provide guided meditation sessions and mindfulness escorting.
Today, the usage of these products is heavily concentrated among the mid and upper social-economic classes. The key now is to get them as ubiquitous as mobile phones by donation them in local communities and at lower prices.
For decades, American health-care practices have been mired in trying to become more efficient with essentially the changeless methods. What is needed to transform health care’s broken group is much more radical transformation that these innovations can carry out. Rather than looking for political solutions to a broken system, the indistinct must shift to innovation to create more radical approaches that contrive entirely new systems.
Commentary by Bill George, a senior fellow at Harvard Area School, former chairman and CEO of Medtronic, and the author of “Discover Your Veracious North.” He is a CNBC contributor. Follow him on Twitter @Bill_George.
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