Petri dish for innovation: Consumer driven health?

Petri dish of innovationI’ve written before about the idea that segments of the healthcare system where patients pay for themselves may be a fertile focus for innovation because of the tight connection between “who pays” and “who benefits”. News today reinforces this hypothesis, suggesting there are actually quite a few of these potential customers. [Read more…]

Who pays for US healthcare?

Funding sources for healthcareIt’s a truism to say that “Patients don’t pay for healthcare” in the USA. And historically, new ventures based on the idea that patients would pay out of their own pockets for healthcare innovations mostly adapted to this reality, or went to the wall.

But as I have been watching various healthcare experiments unfold, and innovations emerge, I keep seeing promising ideas and ventures for which at some limited levels patients do seem to be paying. And for a variety of reasons, about which I will write another time, I am starting to wonder if the most promising changes to our healthcare system are going to emerge outside the traditional ecosystem (as Clayton Christensen suggests they may do), and in particular outside the traditional funding ecosystem. With that in mind, I decided I wanted to get clear in my mind just who pays for US healthcare today. Below are a few of the interesting things I learned, that I think may be relevant in thinking about future opportunities. [Read more…]

Primary care health, USA: the 401(k) model?

I have been spending a lot of time recently exploring Health 2.0 (digital health, quantified self, wireless health, etc) and trying to read the tea leaves about how the US healthcare system is likely to change, as total costs continue on a seemingly unsupportable long term trajectory. I see an interesting analogy to the history of retirement finance in the US over the last 50 years. If I am right, this has some intriguing implications. [Read more…]

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