This week we look at Sophia: the first robot declared a citizen by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the evolution of training of spine surgeons with the introduction of 3D printed spines; what the CVS-Aetna deal means for delivery of healthcare; Bill George discusses solutions to our most pressing health-care problems; and, finally, the 12 most over-hyped technologies in healthcare. Sign up for our newsletter on the left. Enjoy:
Saudi Arabia says it has become the first country in the world to grant citizenship to a robot.
The female robot’s name is Sophia, and she is presented as an example of how robot technology and artificial intelligence will make machines more human-like in the future.
Sophia was built by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics. The company’s founder, David Hanson, says his goal is to create robots that look and act very much like humans.
Artificial intelligence is advancing. 15 years ago – this was the substance of sci-fi series and today it is fast becoming a reality
Simulations for training in critical situations are apparent in various industries – military, aviation, event management etc.
Thanks to the wonders of 3D printing – simulations have also entered the spine care domain and promises a step change in the performance of trainee surgeons and in the reduction of errors. A project led by Nottingham Trent University aims to give trainee surgeons the “tactic knowledge” of how it feels to partly remove or drill into vertebrae before undertaking procedures on patients. The models – which are created using powder printing technology to help achieve a lifelike porosity of real bone – feature hard outer layers and a softer centre. When dealing with the spine, we all acknowledge that one error can lead to catastrophic, life-changing consequences for a patient, so it’s imperative that surgeons can prepare themselves thoroughly. This research will enable clinicians to experience how performing spinal surgery feels both physically and mentally, but in a safe training environment.
In this video, Bill George, former Medtronic Chairman & CEO, Harvard Business School Professor, says innovation can solve many of our most pressing health-care problems by making the delivery system more efficient. He posits that delivery systems will be moving from downstream to upstream (focusing on wellness to prevent people getting sick) and will see it moving out of the hospitals and clinics into pharmacies, and ultimately that self-care will become primary care.
What if an app could replace a pill? That’s the big question behind an emerging trend known as “digital therapeutics.” The idea: software that can improve a person’s health as much as a drug can, but without the same cost and side-effects. We’ve seen how the popular consumer apps such as Headspace and MyFitnessPal, help us do things like meditate or manage our calorie consumption. Well, Digital Therapeutics are an evolution of these types of tools, which focus specifically on the prevention and management of chronic diseases, like diabetes (type 2), hypertension, and others.
The ultimate intention is to keep people off medication and out of the hospital, living healthier and happier for longer.
But is it really without side-effects (ever heard of internet/digital addiction or hypochondria)? Let us know what you in think about this.
The CVS’s $69 billion acquisition of Athena made front page headlines in the last week (it is the marriage of the financing and the delivery of healthcare). But what exactly does it mean for the delivery of healthcare? According to this article from the Havard Business review, the ramifications of such a deal for traditional care providers typically dominated by hospitals is going to be big and may happen fast.
Their intent appears to be to create the financial incentive to get upstream of the major cost driver in health care: hospitalization. By focusing physician and ancillary resources on preventing unnecessary hospital care, which drives 70% or more of medical cost, the total cost of care and therefore premium cost can be lowered. This cost and service improvement then differentiates the insurers, pharmacies, and other disruptive newcomers in the market. Traditional care providers must understand where the world of incentives is going and jump to an incentive system that rewards value, not volume (This means moving aggressively away from fee-for service payment fee-for-value).
With all the talk about digital disruption in healthcare, it would be useful to inject some sanity and talk about the most over-hyped technologies in healthcare. I must admit that there is a streak of overambition by the party who thought about 3D printed organs