This is one of the big dark secrets of modern medicine…the rate of developing diagnostics is far outpacing the rate of doing anything about that diagnosis. Doctors are armed with two things– pills and procedures. And for the past decade, there have been only 6 to 10 new medications approved by the FDA every year. There have been advances using robots for surgery, but in reality, most procedures are good old fashioned bread and butter surgeries that have been around for decades. And in the world of prevention, there aren’t that many things people need (see for yourself) and we can’t decide on the basics like PSA tests and mammography.
And all of this is bankrupting our country. Fixing the first 90% of any large scale problem is the least expensive part…it’s the last 10% that takes 90% of resources and costs. But in fact, in the management of the most expensive disease in America, diabetes, only about 10% of diabetics get all the recommended prevention and treatment. Our “system” can’t even get the first 90% of the problem solved anywhere close to 100% of the time. And we’re mandating that our people purchase a blatantly inequitable system (I call it an “industry”) that focuses on the stupid little expensive details like these chips, when we blatantly ignore the fact that we can’t even get the basics right more than 10% of the time. Why? Because there’s very little profitability in getting the basics right. The money comes from these chips, and this new robot…and wait for it…the thousands of dollars a specialist gets for amputating a diabetic’s leg rather than the hundreds a primary care doctor can make preventing that amputation.
I am 100% in support of mandating an equitable properly functioning system that gets the basics right 90% of the time and focuses on health and happiness. I am 100% against mandating a sickness industry that revolves around profitability. Because if you haven’t noticed, healthcare reform doesn’t change the fact that our mandated “system” is 100% completely driven by profit, not our country’s basic healthcare needs.
If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.
MIT News – “The next wave of this electronics revolution will involve biomedical devices, say electrical engineers in MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratory (MTL) who are working on tiny, low-power chips that could diagnose heart problems, monitor patients with Parkinson’s disease or predict seizures in epileptic patients. Such wearable or implantable devices could transform the way medicine is practiced and help cut the costs of expensive diagnostic tests, says Dennis Buss, former vice president of silicon technology development at Texas Instruments.”
The market for MEMS for biomedical applications is more than $1 billion, and that could grow close to 100-fold by 2015, according to a 2006 market report from MedMarket Diligence.