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Healthcare Media Technology

2018 Society for Participatory Medicine Conference

The graphic you see is a storyboard drawn in real-time as I was giving my talk. Wow. The artist made me sound smart!!

The talk I gave was about “Healthcare in 2028.” The recording quality is terrible, but I had a whole lot of fun at this conference.

I met up with numerous people I’ve only connected with online. It feels good to add a physical connection with someone you’ve only known on Twitter.

Note to reader: The actual date of me typing this is 1/6/2021. I’m going back in time to document some of my talks for memories.

Slides & notes:

My obsession with fixing healthcare started a few years ago when I saw this chart. In case you haven’t seen it, this chart sums up how terrible America’s healthcare system is. That RED LINE is the good ole US of A. And that red line says we suck at healthcare. We pay 2x more than our peer nations but have much worse life expectancy.

It was like a slap in my face when I saw this chart. How can we be so innovative with tech enhanced business models, yet so bad at getting this healthcare thing right? Even more, with this pitiful trend line, what will healthcare look like in the future?

Well, that future took on a new perspective when this little dude made me a dad.

This pic is of me and Grant making lion noises outside a wedding a few months ago.

A few days after he was born, and as my wife took a much needed nap, I rocked him for what seemed like hours. I was so happy that he was a healthy baby boy, but also terrified that I now had the responsibility of keeping this little human alive.

I started to imagine what his life was going to be like. I imagined teaching him how to throw a baseball, how to swing a golf club, how to drive (but hopefully we’ll have autonomous vehicles everywhere by then.) Then I went further out and started to imagine how the education system would be, what college would like, what his career would look like.

Then I got to healthcare. Since I was already neck-deep in researching the problems, I knew healthcare in this country would be terrible for him if we continued down the path we’re currently on. By doing what we’re doing today, we’re effectively stealing from his generation later. Right then and there, I knew exactly what my passions and abilities should be used for. I made a pact with my 3-day old son to dedicate the next 30 years of my life to building a better healthcare future for him.

So I got to work building this new future. I began with a thought experiment: What if we used the Neuralyzer (the Men in Black memory eraser) to wipe our minds from all current history of the way healthcare works — the way it’s paid for, managed, all of it.

We then would start fresh, laying all the pieces of the puzzle, and connecting them in a way that was most effective & efficient.

What if we brought the smartest people to the table to build new business models? Business models that were built around cutting edge technologies that are currently being developed and even the ones on the horizon. What would that look like? I guarantee you it wouldn’t involve fax machines.

I’m sure everyone has heard of Moore’s Law. This basically states that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit board will double every two years. This means our computers roughly double in power every two years, while also become cheaper. This computer advancement is the most common form of exponential technology.

Think back over the past few decades and how these advances in technology created new industries and entirely new ways of doing business. You would have laughed at me if I told you 20 years ago that we would soon be hopping in cars and staying at the homes of complete strangers.

We’ve experienced the computing revolution of the past few decades. Now we’re entering the genetics revolution. Computer science – large-scale algorithmic analysis, large-scale data management – the application of AI technology to biology.

We’ve experienced the computing revolution of the past few decades. Now we’re entering the genetics revolution. Computer science – large-scale algorithmic analysis, large-scale data management – the application of AI technology to biology.

Our days will start with a “Data Dump.” Pun intended. 

We flush tremendous amounts of data down the toilet every day. 10 years from now, we’ll have smart toilets to analyze our “outputs.” Our sinks and tooth brushes will analyze our saliva, and our drains will analyze our hair follicles. 

Ding, ding, ding! You see a notification flash across your smart mirror alerting you that you just received $100 in Medit for successfully lowering your glucose levels. This change triggered a change in your personalized meals. So when the drone delivers your family’s personalized meals this evening, you can be assured of the proper diet to help you reach your goals. 

This data change is also updated on your bioserver…… Bioserver, what is that?!

This is a microfluidic cell culture chip that simulates the activities, mechanics and physiological response of organs and entire organ systems.

A treatment can be measured at the whole body level, and side effects can be easily spotted on each organ.

Imagine having thousands of these running test on all known treatments for the disease you have or will most likely have later in life. There is no trial and error anymore. No more animal testing. This is true, N of 1 personalized medicine.

Your data is fed to your bioserver. What is this, you ask? Just like we have data centers now that have rows of computers storing data and running computations, we’ll have bioservers in the future.

So who is funding this? Who owns this? Who controls this?

Around 2018, we as a society came to finally realize that health insurance was the root cause of all problems in healthcare. A citizen-owned cooperative soon after launched a new economic model that completely reinvented the way we pay for healthcare. Using blockchain technologies, AI, and the power of the crowd, we now have health subscriptions, or “Health as a Service,” which are subscriptions to a better and healthier you. This is what it looks like:

Instead of throwing more money at insurance companies, we decided to take an approach that is much older than insurance — Sharing. With the rise of the sharing economy models, we started to realize that we can cut out the health insurance companies and now “Share” the cost of healthcare with others.

This comes in the form of a subscription to specific specialties based on your genetics and health data. I’ll use myself for an example. Let’s say my health data says I have a higher probability of getting a Lymphoma, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease later on in life. Armed with this knowledge, I can be proactive and start diet plans & treatments that could potentially prevent these diseases. Or better, I could start using my data, knowledge, personal experience, and money to contribute to the research & development of cures for these diseases. Bioservers…

Now that we have new ways of paying for healthcare, new ways to research, develop, & test medications, we need a new way to coordinate care and optimize health.

In 2018, fax machines we’re still being used and getting access to you medical records was a pain. EMRs hardly talked to each other and we still had to carry around physical papers of our records. Doctor’s spent 50% of their day clicking for dollars on these extremely aggravating software programs. This was also a huge contributing factor to physician burnout.

Well, starting in 2018, a new open source movement began developing an evolution of the EMR — a Health Operating System.

Using blockchain technology and decentralized protocols, this new Health Operating System created a collaborative platform that brought physicians, caregivers, nutritionists, functional care experts, and a variety of supporting professionals around the patient for the main goal of the patient’s health. Communication is an ongoing dialog. Data is shared. Costs are reduced. Physicians love using this new tool.

And it grew globally. With the open source initiative and decentralized protocols, this Health Operating System spread all over. Borders were no match for the power of collaboration around health. In developing countries that had little healthcare infrastructure, this system proved perfect to aid in the health of their populations.

And guess what? Bioservers are all tied into this Health Operating System.

By now, it should be clear that we all have ownership of our data.

When we started realizing that the big centralized tech companies we’re profiting tremendously from our data, and even worse, manipulating us based off of the data. By 2019, we had enough and developed the protocols and infrastructure to help us take back ownership and start being compensated for our data.

This data is stored in various places: Some patients host a node and store their encrypted data, some patients opt to store their data on the HOS. Either way, each one of us has 100% ownership of our data. With the swipe of a finger and a scan of your face, you can send your data to any health provider that may need it. Also, you can contribute your de-identified data to the global Health Operating System for future research & development.

The way healthcare is “governed” is this country is laughable. Out of the 537 elected officials we have that make our laws, only 15 or so have any healthcare experience. That’s okay — that’s why we have the insurance and pharmaceutical companies send their lobbyists to tell these politicians what to do. That works, right?

For our country to build a better healthcare future, we can’t rely on the status quo. We must take control of our destiny and create the future we want to live in.

It doesn’t take much to spark a movement. All of us in this room have the abilities needed to bring lasting change to healthcare. It starts with a thought, a commitment, and a collaborative open source effort to work on a common goal.

Back to this chart. If we are going to fix this red line, we have to start now. One step at a time, one day at a time. But it must be done together with a collaborative open source movement.

It doesn’t take much to spark a movement. All of us in this room have the abilities needed to bring lasting change to healthcare. It starts with a thought, a commitment, and a collaborative open source effort to work on a common goal.

I believe that no one should be go without healthcare when we have the knowledge, technology, & resources to take care of everyone. 

I believe that our health is greater than a corporate profit. 

I believe that healthcare should work for the people, and be by the people. 

I believe in Citizen Health.

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