Our traditional Healthcare industry is largely concentrated in the post-symptomatic "Intervention" phase, with services and products oriented around diagnostics and therapeutics.
Healthcare has focused for hundreds of years on the latest phase of the health continuum – "Intervention."
More recently, a "consumerization" of healthcare has begun to accelerate, while also creating a plethora of fuzzy wellness solutions aimed at mitigating pre-disease risks, which largely apply to the "Prevention" phase.
We believe the next evolution of Consumer Health Technology innovations will expand from "Prevention" into "Detection" – that long gestational phase when a disease may no longer be technically "preventable," but is still in its earliest pre-symptomatic stages to be early "detectable," and thus optimally "intervenable."
We spend <1% of our time in a Medical setting, yet somehow expect that measures of diseases from it will lead to enhanced outcomes.
While Providers have access to clinical diagnostic tools and tremendous medical experience, their utility will be fundamentally limited when confined to intermittent moments in time. In such cases, the Consumer's advantage is access to the 99% "observation window" outside of a Medical setting – from the Life setting – yet we continue to lack "Effective" (frequent, objective, quantitative) and "Scalable" (convenient, affordable, accessible) solutions to measure the signs of potential diseases.
For most of our healthcare, we depend too much on Providers who often have hundreds of Patients and Payers who often have millions of Patients. Providers and Payers are crucial to the system, but should they always be required to access even basic insights into our individual health status?
Payers possess the financial resources needed to access Providers, and Providers possess the tools and clinical knowledge needed to provide healthcare; yet, Patients have remained at the periphery of this paradigm with limited alternatives.
Superior health technologies alone are not enough for novel innovations to make its way to the Consumer. Innovators must be practical about the brutal realities of Healthcare-as-a-Business.
Unfortunately, our healthcare industry at its limbic core is disproportionately oriented toward financially incentivizing providers of downstream services such as disease diagnosis and treatment (Intervention phase), less so than on health preservation (Prevention phase). This paradigm fundamentally hinders the full societal and economic benefits of superior health technologies to be realized at the Consumer level.
Fortunately, a societal advancement toward paying-for-outcomes is beginning to occur in conjunction with innovative health technology advancements; however, at least in the near future, business innovation will also be required in order to incentivize broad adoption and participation from key stakeholders – Pharma, Payors, Providers – for health solutions to maximally reach the Consumer and yield net better health outcomes.
Afterall, no one will "care" for your health more than you.
Biological systems can be broken down into an engineering science, such as Bioengineering, but understanding that complexity is fundamentally limited by the human brain itself. Biology is too complex, non-linear, and interconnected to reverse engineer by human minds alone. It requires more complex machines – computers – to augment our human abilities.