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Stop drinking bottled water could fix healthcare?

Tonight a really nice (mostly Dutch) discussion ignited by a tweet of Michael Milo turned into one of those moments where some things fall into place. In this case, a new metaphor to use in my work and keynotes.

Me : Cost decrease as main driver for #ehealth is like bringing water-bottles to dryness area instead of teaching how to make a well.

Me : Empowering people as main driver of #ehealth is like teaching a whole village to dig a well.

@cidberger: true, healthcare stakeholders are still not convinced that well-water tastes better than bottled water.

Me : and yes and it’s not about taste but about availability 😉

@cidberger hahaha, let us drill some holes and spread the word (water) 😉

Me : and maybe even if bottled water tastes better, it is less sustainable, just like current HC system.

@cidberger less sustainable and just not future-proof, bottled water is sooo 2012…! 😉

Of course the metaphor is about mending things vs. trying to prevent things getting broken, like in our health. And on how cost perspective should not be the driver but through (patient) empowerment, i.e. with the help of eHealth, it would be also cheaper in the end. It is my true belief that empowering people will bring a greater impact than the current system. But, as with many new developments, we have to prove prior to convince that it is better, cheaper, safer and easier. While (often) the current modus operandi has not been run through a process like that. And yet I really think we have to make a fresh start, proving that new systems, procedures, gadgets, portals etc. work prior to the stat of actual use and what the cost-effect will be.

Thus, we have to find ways to assess those newcomers also on the level of empowerment for patients, their family and informal care. I expect it to be the most important driver for adoption, raising the level of self-care and in the end lowering the costs in health(care).

Last week I had the honor to share my vision on the technological developments over the course of the next 20-30 years with the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports, Edith Schippers, and her staff. While not having a crystal ball, I tried to use the findings during my work over the last years. They are looking for pathways to support innovation at one end and preventing cost increase at the other one.

We talked (of course amongst others ;-)) about:

  1. Disruptive innovation,
  2. Dorm-biotech & Garage-pharma companies and the quest for innovation
  3. Exponential computer diagnostic-aids like Watson,
  4. CaLiCo,
  5. Healthcare data crime
  6. ‘Death’ of mobile operators,
  7. The end of hospitals as we know them
  8. 70-year old computer nerds,
  9. How patients took over healthcare in 2020,
  10. How we as HCP’s subscribed to patient’s data,
  11. How healthcare became a data science,
  12. Teen scientists
  13. DNA profiling
  14. Biological teleportation
  15. FutureMed November 2013
  16. and how patients need to be included in all processes including conferences.

Afterwards my Google Glass was explored. (by the Minister herself) 😉


Lucien Engelen

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