Becoming the CEO of our own healthcare

During this past week’s class, Milo Werner said, “The vision is that . . . in 2050 everyone will be the CEO of their own healthcare. In order for all 7 billion people to be healthy and have access to healthcare, they are not all going to be able to see a human doctor. In reality, your ability to understand your own health and get recommendations to support your own wellbeing is going to be key.”

In order for this to happen we need 1) personal IoT devices that can continuously, and non-intrusively measure our health, 2) tools to connect and visualize the data from our disparate healthcare devices and 3) comprehensive platforms that analyzes and recommends health interventions for both preventative and acute needs.

Personal IoT Devices

There are many specialized and generic wearable devices and biosensors available for end consumers. These can come from personal purchases or be prescribed by providers. Regardless, these devices are enabling telehealth monitoring [1]. An example—which Milo Werner shared—is the company AliveCor which is providing round-the-clock EKG monitoring and recommendations. Increasingly we will be using both non-invasive products such as AliveCor along with invasive IoT devices such as Proteus Discover, the ingestible sensor that sends data from your stomach to your mobile device [2]. Consumers will have an array of devices that can measure many—if not all—critical measures necessary for good health.

Tool to connect and visualize data

We are quickly approaching 50 billion IoT devices in use, and that number will rise rapidly for many years [3]. As end consumers begin utilizing multiple health-related IoT devices, it will be critical to have a synthesizing tool that captures, organizes, and is able to display this data. Illustrative is Apple’s Health App. Health is a data collector and aggregator of our many disparate sources of health data and is creating individualized health dashboards. The more accurate and robust this data becomes, the more valuable it will be for both the individual and those who have access to the data.

Platform to Analyze and Recommend

With data collector, aggregator, and visualization tools in place, the final component will be evaluating that data to determine preventative and acute health interventions. This will likely be done in a combination of AI and remote-health providers reviewing and analyzing the data. AI will likely be the primary source to identify health concern areas and provide suggested recommendations—especially for health factors within the realm of evidence-based and precision medicine (vs intuitive medicine) [4]. This platform will then need to relay the information back to the end consumers for suggested interventions.

This reality of making everyone the CEO of their own healthcare is well within the reach of current and upcoming technology. As companies move down the learning and cost curves and gain economies of scale they can begin selling products to the entire 7 billion and help achieve Milo and Khosla’s goal of enabling a ‘rich lifestyle’ for all.






4 comments on “Becoming the CEO of our own healthcare”

  1. This type of technology would be very interesting, and I personally wouldn’t mind being my own doctor. I’ve been fortunate enough to have good health insurance and amazing doctors but even still when I get sick I try to determine all the possible causes, symptoms, outcomes, and treatments myself before going out of my way to see a doctor. There is plenty of information online already and I have gotten by just fine so far with my good old pal Google.

  2. My question is don’t we already have things like this in place? It is just a matter of it reaching everyone who ‘wants to be their own CEO in healthcare’. Not everyone has the capacity to purchase the wearables you talk about or AliveCor. Or, some people struggle with the privacy and ethics of IoT/AI and wearbles. This is where I think this movement will find the most roadblocks in the future: how to make it more universally acceptable and affordable. Personally, this type of self-awareness is extremely important and hopefully can be adapted globally.

  3. There’s been a lot of talk about health-tech lately, specifically related to wearables and capturing data about your body. While I think this can augment healthcare in general, I don’t think we’ll replace doctors with IoT enabled devices and visual analytics any time soon. Medicine is one of those specialty areas that still relies heavily on human interaction and intuition. Secondly, we still have a long way to go in terms of technological prevalence in order for all 7+ billion people in the world to be able to diagnose/medicate/treat themselves using wearables and an app. I think technology can help us maintain a healthy lifestyle, but when things go wrong, humans will still prefer to turn to a “human expert” in the field. Great post though, I like how you simplified it to collection, analysis and recommendations.

  4. What resonated with me the most was “The more accurate and robust this data becomes, the more valuable it will be for both the individual and THOSE WHO HAVE ACCESS TO THE DATA.”
    I believe that the true business won’t be the healthcare devices, in fact I believe that eventually they will be sold for a small amount of money. The profitable business will rely on the ads selling medicine as it has always been: “Lacking vitamins? Here’s the solution.”, “Feeling down? Why don’t you try this medicine?”. So I agree that we might not need to see a doctor in the future, but we will still be controlled by the big pharmaceuticals telling us which medicines we should take. So much for a CEO, right?


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