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Technology in Healthcare
American healthcare is so stupid.
The incentive for American healthcare is not to make people healthy, it’s to treat people who are sick.
Everything in life can be explained by incentives. If you want to understand why people do what they do, you only need to look at what is incentivizing them.
“The iron rule of nature is: you get what you reward for. If you want ants to come, you put sugar on the floor.“
– Charlie Munger
How is it that the richest and most prosperous country in the history of the world is the most unhealthy?
With that thinking in mind, I’d like to share with you a chart that I discovered this weekend and have been obsessively thinking about since.
What’s most interesting about this chart is the reverse correlation between price increase and technology.
Every time I go to the doctor, I am blown away by the fact that I am still filling out the same stupid paperwork on the same stupid clipboard and sitting in the same stupid chairs to wait for my appointment that was scheduled for 20 minutes ago.
How do we create incentive for fast, more effective, and more proactive healthcare?
I don’t know, but what I do know is that the free market will auto correct this problem over time. In order to allow that to happen, we need to provide a runway for entrepreneurs to create new tech systems that properly manage personal health.
In addition, I believe we need to incentive people who remain healthy with lower cost for health insurance. What we currently have is the exact opposite, society spends the most money on those who are the most sick.
Granted, there is a lot of nuance here, because healthcare is complicated. I thought Amanda had another great insight that rewards for behavior as opposed to outcomes.
I like her thinking, but personally, I think the behavior is a moot point if the outcome doesn’t change because behavior itself won’t relieve the financial burden on the healthcare system.
Every time I write about this, I find it difficult to stay on point because healthcare is so overlapping and everything is related to everything else.
But to summarize, I want to reiterate the point that as a country, we are absolutely blowing it with healthcare innovation. Instead of embracing technology (the same technology that drives the price down on everything else) we repulse it and then blame the government.
There is more opportunity in healthcare than in any other indsutry in the world.
Who will be the Elon Musk of healthcare? Who will climb that mountain and pave the way for the innovation of the future?