Opinion

'Fixing Health Care' is a Disservice to Society

Anat Lechner

By Anat Lechner and Ian Marks

We should start by asking how we use existing and emerging technologies to invent a preventive, proactive, predictive, and personalized self-care system that delivers tenfold cost-effectiveness enhancements.

By Anat Lechner and Ian Marks

We all know — and the presidential candidates keep reminding us at every debate and in the run-up to Super Tuesday — that our health care system is struggling to provide Americans with affordable care. While we broadly agree that health care needs to be fixed, the conversation on “how” is headed down the wrong path. Instead of looking for solutions to patch up the current system, we should think anew for higher efficiencies, lower costs and, most importantly, better outcomes.  

We should start by asking how we use existing and emerging technologies to invent a preventive, proactive, predictive, and personalized self-care system that delivers tenfold cost-effectiveness enhancements. How do we seize the new economics of a tech-enabled national health care system? Many of the tools needed to affect this transformation are now available; others are rapidly evolving. Health care policymakers need to focus on cultivating and rapidly incorporating a new tech-enabled paradigm of health management while phasing out the old.  

The “old” features a long and costly drug discovery-to-delivery process with a 90 percent failure rate, and a drug target discovery rate of five per year, despite a $30 billion annual investment. Its surgeons guess the extent of patients’ clogged arteries using grayscale images that tell a vague story. The “old” consists of overburdened hospitals and clinics, antiquated administrative systems, well-intended care professionals suffering the highest-ever burnout rate, and three-in-ten Americans foregoing or deferring treatment due to the cost of care.

Read the full article in The Hill.

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Anat Lechner is a Clinical Associate Professor of Management and Organizations