It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there’s a problem with the US health care industry. If you haven’t had a chance to watch Escape Fire – Rescuing American Health Care which aired recently on CNN , you’ll know what I mean.
If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it. Getting your mind focused on healthy habits is a great investment of your time.
So what’s gone wrong with U.S. health? Combine the factors of an aging demographic, and overweight population that are primarily managed with pharmaceuticals with health care payment model is based on procedure not prevention, and you’ve got a recipe for long-term disaster. Oh yes, and speaking of recipes, I guess I forgot to mention the wrath the processed food industry creates from a high fat, high sugar and high salt diet.
Most Canadians will agree that things are considerably better here – if you are proactive with your diet and exercise and health overall. I mean, at least we don’t have to fight with insurance companies that routinely deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Yet we still haven’t arrived anywhere close to where we can be.
Of course it is easy to focus on the negative, as that’s what is regularly in the news. However, we are actually just on the cusp of a personalized revolution in healthcare which some refer to as the Quantified Self movement. It involves using technology and proactivity to fix you largely before you need fixing. It was Ben Franklin who famously said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Healthcare today is still reactive as opposed to proactive. Because we tend to react after we get sick and typically not before, health care costs will continue to spiral. Common sense tells us that it costs much much more to react to something then to prevent it in the first place. (Remember that old Fram Oil Filter commercial)?
We first started writing about this a couple of years ago. Even back then it was clear that a new trend was emerging in personalized medicine. What wasn’t practical then was the size, availability and cost of devices needed. This is changing rapidly.
Today, while we’re still in the infancy of personalized healthcare, there is a whole crop of individualized devices which are starting to be combined into one another for practicality reasons – no one wants to have to carry around 10 different devices to track 10 different health points.
Over the next decade, implantable blood monitoring solutions will arrive to proactively help save lives as their sensors identify troubling signatures in your bloodstream. It may seem a stretch today to think of a sensor floating in our bloodstream telling our cel phone that we should get to a hospital because we’re showing signs of an impending heart attack but that is the reality of what’s coming down the pipe, and a whole lot more.
So what should you do today? Well, apart from having your DNA decoded – which we will talk about in another blog (you’ll be able to do by the end of the year for under $1000), -here are two common sense cost effective ways you can get started:
E.O. & E.