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Silicon Valley Vs. Health Care

From Neil Versel, writing in MobiHealthNews: "Silicon Valley often misses the point of healthcare."
"There are few places with such a high concentration of conceited, arrogant know-it-alls than Washington, D.C., but Silicon Valley may best even the Beltway gang. I’ve seen a lot of bluster, a lot of unearned publicity, plenty of buzzwords and, in many cases, little actual success in winning over customers or addressing a real problem in healthcare.

"Sure, there are exceptions. With the iPad, Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has captured the imagination—and the dollars—of perhaps a quarter of all physicians in the U.S. (OK, sorry!  I just HAD to highlight that sentence!)  Practice Fusion, of San Francisco, has shaken up the ambulatory EMR market by offering a free, advertising-supported product that has successfully targeted a badly underserved segment, namely small physician practices. And Epocrates, based in San Mateo, Calif., claims 1.3 million users for its mobile and point-of-care medical reference and educational tools.

"But there have been plenty of failures, too, some of the spectacular variety. Fitting into the latter category is Google Health, the personal health record that Google has decided to abandon after four uneven years of trying to figure out how to fix healthcare.

[...]

"As I reported last week, companies like Ideal Life, based in Toronto, and Great Call, from San Diego, have found success in producing easy-to-use technologies that simply the lives of the old and sick. Silicon Valley has some smart, innovative people, but sometimes it seems like they are, as critics of former President George W. Bush liked to say, “all hat and no cattle.”

Healthcare needs better. "
Great article, Neil!  Health care does need better from Silicon Valley, though the latter could also  benefit from a healthy dose of adult supervision. (Note to self: VCs with money at stake are enablers NOT adults.)  Neil even gives a wacking to Rock Health, an intriguing incubator and subject of this post from a few months ago.  I'm sorry to hear that, but so far it appears to be style over substance.

To outsiders (and even to insiders like me) health care is often a screwed-up, mystifying mess.

An industry with never enough money to be great but more than enough to be stupid.

Update: Brian Dolan and his readers from MobiHealthNews offer more perspectives.

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