In my years of work to optimize the future of healthcare, with hundreds of conferences and meetings in eighteen countries, people’s focus has shifted as the industry moves forward. For years the focus was on patient empowerment through access to the medical record. Today the greatest attention is on digital health: wristbands like my Fitbit, radical patient-power tools like OpenAPS, and even simple connected devices like my Nokia / Withings wi-fi bathroom scale. Through it all, the unifying theme of digital health is that data enables power – an updated version of “knowledge is power.”
But I’ve also observed that few people are savvy about both medicine and technology, which has led to medical people not seeing the potential and tech people being seriously naive about how complex medicine is, and both parties failing too often to understand that it’s all about behavior change.
One of the few people I’ve worked with who completely gets it is the young, visionary “Medical Futurist” Dr. Bertalan Meskó, at Semmelweis University in Budapest. I had the pleasure of lecturing in his course a few years ago, and we have continued to collaborate.