Imagine if you had to ask your bank permission too look at your balance. And that the rule would be to reject your request if your balance was positive.
Sounds crazy right? Welcome to healthcare.
Healthcare is a broken, legacy institution.
I’m so over doctors acting annoyed towards patients and getting disgruntled when we ask questions. I know, that the medical system is so fucked that it’s not profitable to spend more than 3 min on each patient, but as a patient, that is not my fault.— Rea Strawhill (@ReaStrawhill) February 18, 2022
The experience is terrible, the incentives are messed up, and the only party that seems to benefit from that system is big pharma.
The future of healthcare will look completely different in 2030. I used to believe that the future would just give more powerful tools to make the current system more efficient. With the advance of AI and cloud infrastructure, we can centralize all the data and knowledge which could result in better treatments, more accurate diagnoses, and faster research. But I now understand that it’s going to be a whole new paradigm. We have way too little control over our own health. Ownership is going to be at the center of this new paradigm.
Our health is objectively getting better but our expectations are also increasing. We demand more than sheer functioning bodies. We want to thrive. The current system is not adapted for the new standards. It’s not even able to cope with the basic medical needs.
If we look at history, centralized systems tend to evolve in a decentralized one —even though companies tend to emerge and centralize a part of system. A few decades back, most technologists thought the idea of owning a personal computer was plain stupid. 20 years later, you’re the weirdo if you don’t have one. Same thing goes for smartphones. Who would’ve thought that billions of people would own a smartphone, even in the poorest countries? It felt like a luxury. And it happened so fast.
Today, healthcare does feel like a luxury for most people. And the fact that even financially stable people only have a long distance relationship with their health is crazy.
We often hear that people don’t want to know how their health is going. They don’t want to hear the bad news, especially years in advance. That looking at your health is a proxy for looking at your death. I call bullshit!
Your health is like your bank account. The real problem is the lack of basic health litteracy. Do you wait 6 months to look at your bank account? Is your bank account a proxy for poverty? The reason health is a source of stress is because we don’t feel in control. The way to mitigate that stress is to learn how to read the data, and understand the actions we can take to impact the metrics.
The closest version of that future we have today is bio-hacking. Measuring all kinds of metrics using wearables like Levels GCM, and Oura ring. These are expensive devices and it sounds crazy to spend hundreds on them every month. But again, it used to be the same with laptops. Now, that we understand how valuable a laptop is it makes total sense. A laptop pays for itself. And in a near future, we’ll have enough litteracy and data to understand that bio-hacking pays for itself.