Monday, May 2, 2016

Health Care Present and Future Already Online
Before this time, before now, so soon, so early – used to describe situation that exists now and will continue to exist.
Definition, “already,” Merriam Webster
Last night, May 1, on CBS 60 Minutes,  I was watching Leslie Stahl interview two Irish brothers,   John and Patrick Collison, ages 25 and 27, who 4 years ago dropped out of Harvard and MIT, to form Stripe, a start-up online financial form that has offices in San Francisco with offices around the world. Stripe is part of an explosively growing financial sector known as Fintech, which has already raised $20 billion from venture capitalists, mostly situated in Silicon Valley.
As I listened to the Stahl interview with the Collison brothers, I thought of how  young entrepreneurs with a back ground in programming and app development are already revolutionizing the business world.   I thought of how online apps have impacted newspapers, bookstores, travel agents, taxis, car buyers and hotels, I thought of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Face book, who last week made $4 billion in a single day when Face book stock rose on the basis of increased quarterly profits.  I thought of the millennial, aged 18 to 34, now the largest demographic segment of the U.S. population, whose successful IT practitioners, who are rapidly becoming the world’s withiest individuals, who are helping widen the rich-poor income gap, and who are contributing to the declining influences and shaking up financial firms, banks, and national governments, and who are transforming how society operates.
And I thought of health care’s present and future.  How will this young IT wizards impact health care now and forever more?  Already visitors to the web rate health care information sites as their number one destination. Already most physicians have EHRs and get much of their information off the Net.   Already data from online clouds are used to judge the “value” of care and are said to be replacing clinical intuition and judgment as the best way to improve the quality of care.   Already large integrated health care health organizations, including CMS, are using online data to supplant and supplement clinical care.   Already online access allows entrepreneurial physicians, who choose to be independent, using the web, are breaking off relationships to 3rd parties and to government, to bypass government programs and to offer specialized, expert, and personalized services in widely dispersed locations and as direct cash transactions.  Already health care customers can find care that suits their needs at worldwide sites.  
What do these revolutionary changes portend for ObamaCare?  For independent physicians? For savvy health care consumers?   I know not.   But I know the future belongs to those with  online savvy.

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