“Please undress down to your underwear,” said the masked nurse, “and then put on this gown and sit in this chair. The doctor will see you soon.”
Thus started my recent visit to a prominent dermatology practice in San Francisco. The doctor, let’s call him Dr. G., came in ten minutes later. He was a young man in his late 20s or early 30s, well dressed and soft-spoken, with a degree from a top medical school and a top-tier dermatology residency program. His manner inspired comfort and confidence. He was wearing a mask that obscured much of his face. …
8 out of 12 Democratic presidential candidates taking part in last week’s debate support Medicare For All, or some version thereof. It is an idea that has great intentions, with the main goal of providing health coverage for 27.5 million (8.5%) of Americans who are still uninsured. However, despite the good intentions, we believe that Medicare For All proposals are fundamentally misguided in their goals because they are trying to treat the symptoms of the American healthcare system’s ills, rather than addressing the root cause.
We believe that providing universal healthcare coverage at any cost, which is what Medicare For All supporters appear to be proposing, is a bad idea. We know from recent experience that moving towards universal coverage by itself does not reduce costs or improve outcomes. Between 2013 and 2017, the number of uninsured Americans fell by 38% from 44.4 million to 27.4 million.  However, during the same period, the overall U.S. healthcare expenditures per capita increased by 18% from $9,120 to $10,744.  In addition, key population health measures like life expectancy, obesity, and prevalence of diabetes have worsened. For example, population life expectancy declined from 78.8 years to 78.6 years  . The rate of obesity increased from 34.9% to 39.6% by 2016  and the prevalence of diabetes increased from 8.3% to 9.4% in 2017. …
We are big believers in the great influence of the microbiome on human health. Just as humans and other complex organisms populate Earth, over 100 trillion microorganisms populate our bodies. A human body is the planet Earth for these microbes. Just as humans can wreak destruction to our ecosystem, so can some of these microorganisms wreak havoc inside our bodies.
We were, therefore, sad to see uBiome, Inc., a leader in raising the awareness of the importance of the human microbiome, file for bankruptcy on September 4, 2019.
Here are some things we found interesting from skimming through their bankruptcy document…
Having recently crossed into the midlife-crisis age group, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about happiness and the meaning of life. After reading over 20 publications on this topic, I summarized the following takeaways for anyone else who may find them helpful.
Experts often use the words “purpose” and “meaning” interchangeably and cite them as keys to achieving lasting happiness. However, I believe that there is a clear distinction between the two concepts, with important implications on where and how you will find them.
What is the purpose of life?
I think about the purpose of life as answering the question of “Why are we here?” …
Google walks into a hospital, sees the other two guys and says: “Hello, my dear friends!”
Apple responds: “Hello, my dear enemies!”
Microsoft does not respond as he is too busy debugging command line errors in his code.
This may sound like an opening of a joke, but something very similar to this actually transpired at the HIMSS Innovation Conference and Showcase: API Studio — Connect, Unlock, Plug-and-Play on June 13, 2019 in San Jose, California.
The three technology giants were at this healthcare interoperability conference presenting together as part of the “New Frontiers in the API Revolution” session.
Kurt Ericson, Product Manager, Google Cloud opened the session by saying something to the effect that we and the other presenters are all in it together working towards the common goals of improving healthcare. His opening gave me and the other attendees a warm and fuzzy feeling. Kurt then provided examples of how Google is collaborating with healthcare providers to make healthcare data more meaningful and useful through machine learning. …
The American healthcare system is the most expensive and least efficient (in terms of return on invested capital) healthcare delivery system in the world. In 2017, we spent $3.5 trillion on healthcare (18% of our GDP). This number is projected to increase to $5.7 trillion (20% of the GDP) by 2026. Today, we spend two times more per capita on healthcare than the average advanced economy (OECD countries like Japan, Australia and the UK).
Our current healthcare delivery system can be viewed as an airplane with one wing, which instead of gliding on air, is being held afloat by a large number of hot air balloons, with panicked passengers inside screaming for their lives. …
It is hard to think straight when your child gets hurt. It happened to me this past weekend. My 12 year-old son, Jacob, crashed and injured his knee while skiing at Lake Tahoe. We were hoping that RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) would help his knee get better, but it did not. When the pain did not go away, we took Jacob to see his pediatrician.
The pediatrician spent 30 minutes manipulating Jacob’s leg and declared that she had no idea what was going on. She referred us to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and told us to get a knee X-ray. Since our pediatrician is affiliated with a large hospital — the California Pacific Medical Center / Sutter Health (“CPMC”) — she referred us to CPMC Radiology, located in the same building. …
Measles is prominent in the news due to an outbreak comprising, as of April 11th, 555 cases across 20 states.  This outbreak prompted a Congressional hearing on February 27, 2019 titled: “Confronting a Growing Public Health Threat: Measles Outbreaks in the U.S.”
We would argue that MUMPS, rather than measles, is a much bigger threat to America’s public health.
Mumps generally refers to two things: