Category: Innovation

Switching Costs are Slowing Consumer Adoption of Healthcare Innovation

Healthcare seems ripe for disruption by new entrants, and there has been no shortage of trying.  According to a recent report published by PWC’s cbInsights, healthcare was the second largest US sector for investors in 2017, knocking the mobile and telecom sector into third place. It’s not hard to understand investor interest in the healthcare space. ...

The New-Economy has Created a Trade Deficit in Small Cities and Towns. Healthcare Spending is the Bulwark

I recently drove through Lewiston, Maine.  It’s no longer the flourishing city it once was, though until the early 20th century Lewiston (seen in the drawing above) was a booming American mill town.  Its factories, hydro-powered by the Androscoggin River, were linked by rail to Boston and other large cities.  Like many mill towns in New England, ...

On Healthcare as a Complex System: Ensuring Context and The Capacity to Adapt

There is a minor brouhaha in the world of healthcare quality and process improvement.  It started with a perspective piece written by Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman published in a January issue of the New England Journal.  In the essay, (and I’m paraphrasing) Groopman and Hartzband argue that process improvement tools like LEAN are “medical Taylorism” that lead to ...

Express Scripts Undoes Turing Pharmaceuticals: Witness the Rise of the “Activist” PBM

Everyone knows the recent story of “rapscallion” Martin Shkreli: the ethically depleted CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals who bought the rights to Daraprim, a generic anti-parasitic medicine and marked up the price of a tablet from $13.50 to $750 overnight.   As disgusting as Shkreli’s story is–  the more important and interesting tale is how Turing was subsequently undone by ...

A (Lower Cost) Healthcare Industry to Deal With a (Higher Cost) Healthcare Industry

I was recently on the phone with a medical device company executive who was describing his company’s efforts to develop a non-invasive diagnostic device that could quantify the degree of cirrhosis in a patient with liver illness.  It’s technology that his firm sees as timely given the recent introduction of Solavdi and other Hepatitis C therapies: the device will be offered as a way ...

A Flood of Medical Information Has Overwhelmed the Craft Business of Medicine: What’s Next?

If recent popular posts on the big physician blogs are any indication, some US physicians are beginning to crack. Three of the most read recent posts on KevinMD are on the topics of physician burnout, knowing when to quit medicine and—frighteningly– on the conditions that lead physicians to suicide. Along with my now quotidian experiences interacting with ...

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Consumers are Linking Budget Airline Itineraries: Will They “Virtual Interline” Medical Services Too?

A few weeks ago, WOW Air, an Icelandic budget airline, announced that they would be flying Boston-Reykjavik at an introductory fare of $99.  Despite the growth of budget airlines in both Europe and the US, WOW is apparently the first airline to try to make a margin on trans-Atlantic routes. WOW argues that smaller planes (made possible ...