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Doctors Vs. Technologists: A Medical Prize Fight

Written by Anne DeGheest // 29 July 2013 // digital health, healthtech,

Dr. Robert Pearl, CEO of Kaiser Permanente Medical Group wrote a great article in Forbes on Doctors Vs. Technologists: A Medical Prize Fight.

Fighting in the technologists’ corner: Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist and founder of Khosla Ventures. His opponent: Dr. Abraham Verghese, a physician and author of the best-selling novel “Cutting for Stone.” It was a draw!!

Technologists are making the assumption that medicine is a science that just need to be decoded into sophisticated algorithms like the IBM Watson computer. However, there is still a LOT that we do not understand how the body operates while healthy or under attack from some disease. Several years ago the AMA in the US and a study in Belgium showed that when they did an autopsy of patients who died in hospitals for a year, the original diagnosis had only been correct 50% of the time!

What we need is a collaboration of technologists and doctors to develop new technologies to help us understand what is really happening inside the body..and more importantly how to get the patients to follow the medical recommendations and change their behaviors..the human touch factor! This is why at HealthTech capital we have build a group of members who each bring at least one of the three sets of expertise needed to change healthcare: medical knowledge, understanding of new enabling technologies and understanding on how to engage and change consumer/patients behavior.

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