Re: Health IT: How Developing Markets Can Trump US
Thanks a lot, Leonard, this way very thought-provoking. It's practically a cultural pastime to take a pot shot at the state of US healthcare, but it's much less often that we actually see someone explain why it's in such a sorry state and offer some real examples of how things are in the rest of the world. Double points for making this a great read for IT pros and luddites alike. Anyone can appreciate the value of a solar-powered, portable testing lab priced under a thousand dollars. There's a video demo embedded in the linked article. So cool! Some of the economic and societal factors you list are well-known, but others were a bit more surprising (and illuminating). It's important to remember the world is a complex place not simply divided into 'developed' and 'undeveloped' to get a full picture.
It's not so hard to see how the US system got to the state it's in today. As others have pointed out, it's justifiable that there are limits placed on how rapidly healthcare systems and processes can be changed - there are security, privacy, and human safety concerns. Like many other things, though, these regulations seem to have spiraled out of control and caused the opposite of their intended effect. To say that medications and procedures are priced arbitrarily based on numbers that the insurance providers already decided they want to pay is an understatement. The notion that in India I would pay a little more out of pocket to actually have my problem adressed on the first visit instead of being ping-ponged around to five different ones only to see no tangible benefit is well-taken. That's not incidental to the problem - that is the whole problem. And technology can help, if we would get out of it's way.