Thursday, May 5, 2005

"First Aid for Health Care," Bruce Sterling's Column in Wired

I don't agree with everything Bruce says, but I enjoy his writing. From Wired:

Behold the disruptive innovation! An entire industry can putter along for decades, steadily improving its products, services, and bottom line - only to be suddenly eviscerated by people from nowhere using simple, inexpensive, profoundly powerful techniques. Disrupters start by serving people whom established players don't even recognize as customers. Eventually, the newcomers learn so much so quickly that they can't help but radically outperform the incumbents...

Intrigued by this challenge, I searched for the stupidest, most dysfunctional US industry I could find. The automotive and energy industries - beset by entrenched interests, sclerotic management, and stifling oversight - were tempting. But the worst has to be health care. Health care has every quality Christensen lists as dangerous: crippling regulation, overcharged customers, enraged victims with deep grudges, unnecessary goods and services, and a massive base of underserved wretches. The remarkably unhealthy US population blows more money on medicine than any other nation in the world, yet gets sicker anyhow.

Could a radically inventive disruption somehow render the whole tangled mess irrelevant? A system that eats 15 percent of the US gross national product is a broad field for disruptions. Some might bite a few links off the value chain, while others have potential to wreck the whole dysfunctional shebang. Let's consider a few scenarios...

Technorati Tags: , , ,

No comments: