Category: Innovation Management

Why Can’t Consumers Order Their Own Chest X-Rays???

Okay, that question is sort of tongue in cheek. But it reflects the spirit expressed by the MD Whistleblower in this post about consumer genetic testing kits like 23andme. I think he makes a really good point. We don’t let patients order up any other diagnostic tests on their own. SO. Why do we allow them to dive head first into the complicated area of genetic testing. Sure, it might be amusing to find out what your percentage of Neanderthal heritage is. BUT. What does the average patient do when she is informed that she has a genetic predisposition to a serious malady? There is good reason, the blogger points out, for professional genetic counseling, of which there is none with these consumer kits.

Bottom Line. Interesting moral dilemma here. Should genetic testing companies be precluded from cluing us in to our genetic predisposition to such conditions as Alzheimer’s, especially since there is nothing to be done about a high risk here anyway? Maybe!  

A couple of interesting asides here round out the picture. We are increasingly seeing these genetic databases being used to blow the whistle on criminal blood relatives of those who have been tested. Think of the draconian 1984esque possible ramifications of that one!  

AND. The blogger also sees risk in the genetic testing companies selling their databases to pharmaceutical companies. Picture the manufacturers of Namenda being able to buy a list of 1,000,000 people with high genetic risk of dementia to enable them to mount the ultimate targeted DTC campaign.  

Maybe some Governmental controls should be considered here!!!

Want A Condom? Which Vegetable???

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 4.17.28 PM I haven’t been talking about “design” as much as I did a few years ago. But every so often something comes along that makes me dust off the “D” word with which I am basically in love. Here is one such instance. Historically, condoms have been bland, embarrassing, clinical and difficult to purchase in the right size. No more. “Love Guide Condoms” let the buyer, male or female, decide which condom size is right by grabbing a package. The girth of the package is simultaneously meant to mimic the circumference of a recognizable fruit or vegetable and the size of the target male’s erect penis. What an accurate, easy and an un-embarrassing (sort of!)  way for   someone to select appropriate condoms. Bottom Line. You gotta love new approaches to design that revolutionize, rather than simply redecorate!  

Publishing Before The Idea Is Done

Publishing ideas   In the good old days, which were actually not so long ago, it took a long time to get a scholarly work published. A very long time! Peer review, editing, printing, and distribution by snail mail. All in, a year from start to finish of the process. BUT. Along comes the Internet, and then social media, and now we can “publish” an idea within minutes of it even occurring to us. In some ways this is good news. Doctors used to complain to me regularly that medical journals were way too slow for them to be relied upon to keep “up to date.” BUT. In this recent blog post, an influential Information Age physician comments on the risks attendant to instantaneous publication. No third party, he notes, is now adjudicating the accuracy or the worth of the ideas being set forth. And, given that the space for publication is now unlimited, the triage task of deciding what is worthy of reading is a daunting one. Bottom Line. The blogger has a recommendation. Use the instant publication media for the active and ongoing exchange of ideas, but hold certain juried publications for the sharing of ideas that are “fully baked.” Makes sense!  

When Bad Things Happen On TV

Skeptical Scapel   No, I am not talking about summer reruns of Jeopardy episodes you have already watched. I’m talking about live video broadcast of surgeries for educational purposes. Read this blog post on the topic, view the linked video, and ask yourself a few questions. Like: 1.  Is it ever really necessary to broadcast a live procedure? 2.  Wouldn’t broadcasting videotaped surgeries be just as educational, and a heck of a lot safer? 3.  Having seen this, would you agree as a patient to have your procedure broadcast live? 4.  Should any patient? Bottom Line. Like so many things, this is one of those that I never thought about before, but makes all of the sense in the world when somebody makes you think about it. For the surgeon suddenly to add the role of “narrator,” and then worry about what her colleagues will say if something goes wrong during the procedure, doubtless raises unnecessary risk. 

Physician Information Overload

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 6.54.41 PM Check out this recently published research report. No big surprises here, I’m thinking. But important stuff nonetheless. The message is that when HER/EMR systems are programmed to send out clinical notifications automatically, the poor PCP on the other end gets overwhelmed by volume rather quickly. A recent study found that the average doc is getting 76.9 such notices a day, and is spending the better part of an hour each day reading them, responding to them, etc. AAAHHH!!! Bottom Line. As is so often the case, a drill down here reveals that many of these notices, such as routine lab results, should be downloaded by physicians when they need them, rather than being sent to them automatically. How can better “filtering” be employed here? How about in our own emails???

Spit Kit Coming Soon to a Pharmacy Near You???

23andme Interesting. Up until now, you had to order your 23andMe sample kit from the company and wait for it to arrive before you could provide a saliva sample for genotyping. But, according to this article, you may soon be able to pick up your “spit kit” at your local Walgreens. Why does this article pique my interest? I’m thinking that partnerships and distribution channels will become increasingly important in the future of health care. Pick the right strategic combination for your product and you can win big. Screw up these choices and you can go down the tubes pretty quickly. But how does one evaluate such choices? Here, my initial thinking is that by putting their kits on shelves, 23andMe can appeal to those people (like me!) who are sort of “fire, ready, aim.” You know, us folk who like immediate gratification and who might not take the “extra step” of having to order the kit and wait for it to arrive. BUT. How about the impact of their using this distribution channel on the popular perception of the science behind the product? Does the pharmacy environment enhance it, or does the “rack job” display detract from it? Bottom Line. Time will tell. Let’s see what we can learn from this!  

Cures Instead of Treatments?

PharmExec What will happen if (when?) science lets the pharmaceutical industry sell cures instead of treatments? We’ve seen it in hepatitis. What’s next? One thing is for sure. Things are going to change. Check out this article, and scope out the different places where changes will manifest themselves. For patients, for providers, for pharmaceutical companies. Bottom Line. Bachman’s title for this article ends in the question, “Are we ready?” Check out the 8 specific areas of fundamental change he lays out for consideration, and decide for yourself.

Again With Google Glass???

9 to 5 Google As a goof that bought one of the initial models of Google Glass, I viewed the announcement of an upcoming “enterprise” edition of GG with some skepticism. Lo and behold, the foreseen healthcare uses for the next edition are exactly the same as those that originally enticed me to test fly the original model. Lenses that would let ER doctors cast their eyes on what first responders are seeing in the field. A view of a surgical field broadcast from the head of the physician performing the operation. Etc. Bottom Line. Will the practical fixes incorporated into the V2.0 make the next GG more of a success and less of an Edsel? Time will tell. All I know for sure at this point is that this time, I will watch quietly from the sidelines. I don’t need another “toy” sitting on the shelf next to my original GG!

Who Am I To Disagree With Clayton Christensen About Disruptive Innovation?

Disruptive Innovation After all, Professor Christensen is the father of Disruptive Innovation. He literally wrote the book on the topic. BUT. In a recent HBR article, he bemoans the fact that, in his opinion, the term is being overused. Many shifts are indeed innovative, but some fairly specific defining characteristics need to be met in order to achieve the “disruptive” moniker. In this article, as you would expect a Professor to do, he briefly lays out the “theory” of DI, and specifies its criteria. So far, so good! BUT. He then goes on to state that, using these criteria, Uber doesn’t make the DI cut. Now I’m lost. Apparently taking liberties I didn’t know I was taking, I usually cite Uber as the poster child of DI. I read the article 3 times. I still don’t get where I am wrong. Bottom Line. But forget my confusion. Spend a couple of minutes reading the article. I guarantee you will find it a great review of DI and its applications. You will also find how DI can be used as the basis of developing business strategies, both offensive and defensive. All good. But I still think Uber is DI. What do you think?

The Next Round Of Apple Wearables

Apple Wearables The graphic above is drawn from a patent application that Apple has filed for a biosensor ring. Health, security and other applications are foreseen for this logical next step following the successful introduction of the Apple Watch. Take a look! Bottom Line. Yup! As we have commented previously, we can look forward to Apple and others introducing a continuous string of wearable hardware over the course of the next few years. The real question still remains, however, as to when the data forthcoming from these devices will be turned into information, insights and behavioral change. While Apple has been assiduous in introducing such accessories as new designer bands for the Watch, they have been far less productive in terms of demonstrating meaningful outcomes resulting from its use. Hopefully, their approach to the ring will be different. If not, they may be reinventing the “mood ring” popular in the 1970’s. Whoopee!!!