Re-designing healthcare

September 23, 2009

I spent last week at the Mayo Clinic symposium on health care innovation called Transform. It was excellent. A great group of speakers and an audience populated by some of the most important players in health care innovation.

You can check out the videos from many of the speakers at the Mayo Transform site. Unfortunately I can't link you to the individual talks but I would recommend the following in particular:

Clayton Christensen on the Innovators Prescription. For those that have not read the book this talk makes a rigorous argument for how the business model of healthcare needs to be restated.

Amy Tenderich talks about the Diabetes Challenge. An attempt to get design thinkers engaged in improving the lives of diabetes sufferers.

Victor Montori, a Mayo physician, does a great job of showing how doctors get it wrong when they don't consider the whole lifestyle of the patient when they prescribe remedies.

Denis Cortese, the current head of the Mayo, describes where the health care system is dysfunctional today and what Mayo plans to focus on to help resolve that.

Elizabeth Teisberg talks about health care policy and in particular the importance of focusing on value not cost reduction.

Frank Moss from the MIT Media Lab gives a great talk and demonstration (with one of his graduate students) on empowering each of us to be responsible for more of our own health care.

Patrick Garaghty, CEO of Minnesota Blue Cross Blue Shield, makes an impressive argument for how it is in the interests of payers to focus on wellness programs. Given the bad press that insurance companies have been getting in the recent debates it was good to see some real leadership coming from them.

As always, Larry Keeley makes an eloquent and urgent case for innovation based on showing how Leonardo got things wrong.

The three 'i-spotter' award speakers all gave great short talks on their projects - Jaspal Sandhu, Jeff Belkora and Alexandra Carmichael.

I headed up the last session which was specifically on design thinking. I was followed by three wonderful talks by Karl Ronn of P&G, Christi Dining Zuber from the Kaiser Innovation team and Maggie Breslin from SPARC, the Mayo design and innovation group.

Overall I was very impressed by the level of the dialog about innovation and design thinking, particularly amongst the physicians. I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that a profession that is focused on making people's lives better is so enthusiastic about a human centered innovation process.

The image is courtesy of Marc Koska at Safepoint. I included the story of Marc's innovation, the auto-disable syringe, in my talk.