Archive for September 27th, 2006

The End of Medicine – Book Review

September 27, 2006

Subtitled “How Silicon Valley (and naked mice) Will Reboot Your Doctor,” this book by Andy Kessler, a Wall Street analyst, takes the reader on a journey through medical technology conferences, genetic testing and cancer centers. His irreverent attitude spices up his quest to find how medicine can “scale” the way tech firms do in making cheaper, faster and growth-oriented technologies. Although he pans electronic medical records early in the book as not contributing in a significant way to the scaling of doctors, he continues his search down many dead ends showing how the current reimbursement incentives (especially DRGs) drive doctors toward specific, high reimbursement procedures and potentially stifle innovation. He spends several chapters looking at radiology innovations moving to 256 slices on CAT scans, only to find that technology may replace radiologist in finding tumors in mammograms. He looks at the concept of the gene chip, monoclonal antibodies and genetic tests. But when he comes across Don Lustwin who is funding detection and prevention research, such as, tumor markers, at the Hutch, he latches on where he believes the future is in healthcare.

The book is worth the read – it was a real contrast to Harvard Business books I have read, refreshingly so. If you can get past the attitude, enjoy the trip.

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New Bill to promote Personal Health Records

September 27, 2006

HealthcareIT News reports that Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island is proposing a bill to create incentives for using PHRs. These payments would go to physicians for recruiting patients into a PHR. It would be a partnership of public and private funding encouraging contributions from third party payors and pharma. He expects interest by the private parties because of the potential for cost savings from activities like online prescription refills. Privacy and patient control standards would be set.

This is a great way to get some traction to PHRs which are of interest to consumers but where adoption lags.

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