The controversy over the FDA’s recent letter ordering the genetic testing company 23andMe to stop marketing its services for failure to comply with the agency’s regulatory process suggests that the prognosis for direct-to-consumer health services, particularly genetic testing, is quite uncertain. Given the enormous potential benefits to consumers, this is unfortunate.
Telemedicine’s Role in Improving Health Care Delivery
The new insurance marketplaces introduced by Obamacare highlight how telemedicine can keep health insurance costs down by increasing competition and efficiency. Unfortunately telemedicine is hobbled by outdated policies, but with smart policy reforms it can bring important benefits.
Predictive Analytics and How to Decide Who Should Receive Organ Transplants
As society increasingly relies on data to make predictions, some fear that they will be caught on the wrong side of an equation: a healthy individual might be denied medical coverage, a reformed criminal might be denied parole, or a financially-stable consumer might be denied credit. These fears are misguided. While critics are correct that no algorithm will be right 100 percent of the time, what many people do not realize is that we already live in a world of predictions, we are just not always that good at making them. Fortunately, better use of data analytics can help us make fewer errors.
Health IT in 2013: A Renewed Focus on Efficiency and Effectiveness
We need to be thinking long-term about how to maximize the benefits of health IT, not only in delivering more effective and efficient care, but also in rethinking how we use IT to innovate in health care. There are countless possibilities where IT can lead to radically new solutions in health care, from using IT to monitor health in the home to using health data for new types of medical research. But the reality is that we won’t get there unless we constantly evaluate where we are falling short and implement policies to address these problems so we can successfully move forward.