How do you make healthcare more efficient, and how do you make money investing in companies that can make that happen?
In my opinion, the best part of Friday’s Investor Forum was the difference in opinion in regards to the question above. Is telehealth the next boom market or the next big flop? What about VR? What about blockchain? Will the rising popularity of digital token sales alter the structure of investment? Do Millennials spend avoid doctors or spend too much time in clinics? Is the answer to healthcare inefficiency better technology or better employee management? Is it a great idea or a terrible idea to treat patients like retail consumers?
On the last day of the Health:Further festival, the Investor Forum stage hosted panels of experts in healthcare investment in addition to representatives of fields ranging from demography to blockchain. In discussing the future of hospitals, many agreed that our country will be home to fewer hospitals with fewer owners. The science of health will be dominated by genomics and personalized medicine — or maybe our health culture will shift more towards population health, focusing on social determinants, behavior incentives, and affordability/access. The market will see more technology-based disruptions — for example, telehealth may enable care to be administered virtually more and more often. Hospitals may become destinations, with the brick-and-mortar buildings repurposed for health and wellness services that surpass acute care. Companies will cultivate more diverse leadership teams, while the popularity of alternative care may rise.
The range of expert opinions on all these topics fascinated me. Some speakers were deeply confident in their predictions, while others hedged carefully. Some contradicted each other, and occasionally those in disagreement were able to debate one another onstage directly.
The open community! I celebrated internally. Diversity of thought! Open exchange of ideas!
This is Health:Further: a welcoming platform for any respectful, optimistic perspective on the future of health. A stage where two experts debate the best way to drive healthcare efficiency. An exploration of patient rights and capabilities, of achieving industry buy-in, of institutional fallacies and their solutions.
The many ideas that surfaced during the Investor Forum were intriguing, exciting, and diverse. The speaker expertise and engagement was genuine. To top it off, the soup-and-salad lunch was excellent — though, of course, I welcome your respectful disagreement.