MedTech I.Q.

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Have you read Innovator's Prescription?



A book review:

In Innovator's Prescription, the authors spend less time reviewing the failures of the past, as was the case in Innovator's Dilemma. Exhaustive examination of failed technology business models is replaced by more of what the future of the health care industry will look like. Hospitals as we know them are not yet extinct. Also, the inefficiencies of care remain insulated from full market elasticity. However, this is changing with HSA-driven, consumer cost consciousness, and quality-inducing Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements.

Unlike contemporary books on this topic, the authors are careful not to blind readers with best technologies yet to come. More importantly, topics such as medical education and fee-for-service delivery models are deliberated with understandable eventuality amidst validated economic and market forces.

The compelling vision that is the future of medical education deserves a book of its own. The diminishing role cited of today's medical schools slaps a wake up call onto the face of this traditional cash cow. As the Toyota Production System impacts time, cost, and quality with a jump from series to parallel processes, it's suggested that the same will happen for the medical school. Just how science learning and clerkship will merge together remains to be seen. Absent from this dialogue is the "speed to competency" movement gaining ground for medical simulation and certification.

The unsustainability of medical education meeting the needs of the masses receives no better example than the following field and need disparity:
-more are being trained and less are needed (specialists)
-less are trained when more are needed (nurses)

To resolve this issue, the current Administration seeks to adopt incentives (student loan reimbursement, etc.) to offset the imbalance. This trend, however, feeds the ongoing demand for specialty hospitals as maximized quality follows free market models versus mandated models.

Innovator's Prescription concludes that `fee for service' and `direct to consumer' health care will become more prevalent. The successful business models of the future in this market space reflect disaggregation of `hospital care as we know it' services. Point-of-care diagnostics, outpatient surgery clinics, retail health clinics, are among the spectrum of simplifying innovations in health care standards of the future.

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