Health Care Reform is Like Building a Better Typewriter

“Most people are talking about iteration, not innovation,” said Jesse Dylan recently at Mayo Clinic Transform 2010 symposium. Similar to iPhone 4, he added.

Or, if the health care model you want to improve is as outmoded as a typewriter, the best approach is to think in terms of transforming the entire concept, rather than reforming it.

“Reform involves tweaking and revising, whereas transformation means we are aiming to totally liberate people from depressing, disease-causing environments,” Tye Farrow has said. He sees the cost burden of chronic diseases as a problem that requires a bigger lens. “Obesity is not primarily a medical problem. We waste valuable time and money when we put pressure on the health system to solve problems that are rooted in built environment. People are being starved by their physical surroundings when they could instead be nurtured by design. Obesity is a sad daily reminder that we have gone way off track by creating desolate places.”

As Matt Miller wrote yesterday in The Washington Post, What Obamaomics is missing: Disruptive innovation, “A central theme of Obamanomics 2.0 should be “disruptive government” — making the world safe for such innovations to challenge wasteful establishments in sectors critical to middle class well-being…it has nothing to do with increasingly irrelevant “left” vs. “right” debates…Fresh blood can help the president see we’re in a race between innovation and calcification.”

A study released today by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, reported in The New York Times “The World is Fat” states, “Until 1980, fewer than one in 10 people in industrialized countries like the United States were obese. Today, these rates have doubled or tripled. In almost half of developed countries, one out of every two people is overweight or obese. These populations are expected to get even heavier in the near future, and in some countries two out of three people are projected to be obese within 10 years.”

– Sharon VanderKaay


  1. 1 Time to Start with a Fresh Sheet of Paper : Great City

    […] the Nature of Innovation blog here is a new way to look at what’s really needed when we talk about health care reform. […]

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