Changes are taking the pace I’m going to…

Interesting little article from Forbes Magazine about venture capitalists looking for opportunities in healthcare. As the article points out, in the US, healthcare is 17% of GDP – there’s money to be made in any tech disruption that catches on in clinical practice.

The disruption is more likely to come from the outside-in though, isn’t it? Healthcare institutions are slow to move and change. If venture capitalists and others are trying to find weak points in the healthcare system which are ripe for exploration, investment, innovation and ultimately success, why not focus on patients? By that, I mean the patients should be the carriers/distributors/end users of the disruption. There are more patients than clinicians and patients are individuals while clinicians are invariably part of an institution. If this disruption is delivered to patients, and it delivers a useful change for the patient in how they receive healthcare, well then it should hit a critical mass and it will have to become a utility for clinicians and healthcare institutions.

But what will that disruption be? I’m still trying to figure that out…

It was a fine idea at the time…

Following on from my post yesterday, this from Horace Dediu (@asymco) and his blog at, also posted yesterday, is good reading:

The technology is one part of the problem to be solved, the other is how to get people to use it. And that problem is rooted in understanding the jobs people have to get done and how the technology can be used defensibly. That’s where the rub is. An unused technology is a tragic failure. Not just because it has no value but because the resources (those beautiful minds) used in making it could have been applied elsewhere.

The whole thing is here.

Don’t start me talking, I could talk all night…

Another big idea that raised its head at DotMed is disruption. Where is it going to come from in healthcare?

The examples outside of healthcare are many: Kodak filing for bankruptcy, video stores closing down… Connectivity and the internet have disrupted so many business paradigms, why should medicine be immune?

Think of the music business. The internet has changed it utterly since the turn of the millenium. Record shops gone, sales volume down, content delivery changed, social listening…

The internet was not music’s biggest disruption. The invention of recorded sound was what changed music forever, from a passive experience that could only be enjoyed live (e.g. in a concert hall), to a user-controlled, time-shiftable, medium where that end user decided how to interact with it (e.g. listening to a stream of any song, anywhere).

Consumer technology is now at a point where for patients, interacting with a medical professional does not have to be a real-time interaction where the hospitals are concert halls and the doctors are the musicians. If the healthcare user has access to healthcare anywhere, how do the clinicians practice their skills, deliver their content?

Technology has always been present in healthcare, but on the side of the clinicians (just look at radiology). Patients are about to bring their technology to the table. The change in healthcare will be more akin to the music business changes in the first half of the 20th century, when the end users got to have some control of it for the first time. What has happened to the music business in the 21st century has just been a revision of decades of content delivery to end users. In healthcare we’re at the point where gramaphone records are about to take over from pianos and sheet music.

Changes in healthcare and disruption are topics I’ll come back to a lot in this blog. Where is it coming from? How will it work? What will it look like? What are the good ideas? And if a disruption in practice produces an improved way of delivering care, is it really a disruption?

Perfecting Sound Forever: The Story of Recorded Music
Perfecting Sound Forever: The Story of Recorded Music – Kindle Edition