Tech blogger Robert Scoble answered a question “Why does Apple gets more media coverage than other companies” [sic]. His answer concerning how Apple garners so much useful attention (read: revenue-earning) is worth checking out from a marketing perspective.
But it got me thinking: How come there isn’t an Apple for Healthcare?
Apple’s entire enterprise is built around design and excellence and remarkability.
Healthcare is (supposed to) be built around design and excellence and remarkability.
Now I’m not saying that there aught to be one company – just like Apple – for Healthcare.
It’s the concept of Apple.
Just as Steve Jobs had the foresight and chutzpah to keep mutating his company – from the computer industry to the music industry to the content generation industry – Healthcare needs visionaries who don’t think along the same old lines with which they’ve gotten comfortable.
THE ROOTS OF THE ROTTEN CORE
Here are the roots of the problems with today’s healthcare:
- Modern Healthcare has its roots in the industrial age.
- Modern Medicine has its roots on the battlefield.
- Modern Nursing has its roots in a female-dominated profession within a male-dominated society.
Think of the lock-in contained in those three points!
If you look at the entire industry of healthcare – and the other industries which orbit it – the tasks of tugging it into the 21st Century look depressing.
It just seems overwhelming: the industry is so vast, so expansive – it’s too much for an Apple to emerge. What would it do? Whom would it serve? What purpose?
There are ideas about innovation in healthcare. Howard Luks, MD has several of them right here. You can add yours.
But there is hope in one specific but huge area: Personalized Medicine.
KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND BAD
Personalized Medicine isn’t just a buzzword: Medicine is suposed to be personalized.
Healthcare got depersonalized along the way. But when and where?
In the industrial age. On the battlefield. In the pressure-cooker of stubborn political institutions.
I’m sure many people think there can’t be an Apple for Healthcare – it’s too daunting.
Yes. But also no.
There’s sufficient design space in Personalized Medicine for an Apple.
Why? Because so many of modern Healthcare’s interventions are off-the-mark.
Why 81mg for Aspirin? Why not 82mg?
With personalized medicine, what your liver does with drugs won’t be such a mystery. That’s HUGE.
With personalized medicine, what a drug does to your liver won’t be known after it starts to fail.
With personalized medicine, entire classes of new technologies will emerge, and in the process create new economies.
And if personalized medicine is going to be done remarkably well, it will have to be done by an Apple. Or, rather, several Apples.
If you believe it can’t be done, then it can’t be done.
If you believe it’s possible, then it’s possible. And if it’s possible, then becomes responsible.
It’ll have to be done by people who know all about design and shine.
It’ll have to be done by people who know how to take healthy bites out of the status quo.
And you know what they say about apples and doctors.