Medical Innovation


I suspect that innovation in health care comes along in the same way that innovation in, say, TVs comes along.  Very expensive breakthroughs that eventually come down in price to the point that they become common place.

Consider this technology:

A team of scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed the world’s smallest medical implant to monitor critical chemicals in the blood. The 14mm device measures up to five indicators, including proteins like troponin, that show if and when a heart attack has occurred. Using Bluetooth, the device can then transmit the data to a smartphone for tracking. The device can also track levels of glucose, lactate, and ATP, providing valuable data for physiologic monitoring during activity, or in possible disease conditions like diabetes. As far as tricorders go, this device may be the one you have been waiting for, provided you are on board for the implant.

I think this is cool; way cool.  And even if the cost is such that I can’t afford it for 10 years, I STILL think it’s cool.  In fact, I hope that rich people pay for the device and the service so that the price comes down to a level that allows for market penetration similar to HD TVs:

Last time the Giants played in the Super Bowl, in 2008, 41 percent of American households had at least one high-definition television.

That number has more than doubled, and now 87 percent of households have an HDTV, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

Think of it.  Are we willing to “suffer” through only 41% of households having the best technology if it means that just 4 years later more than double that number will have the same access?

Let’s let people make profits off of cool things so that we can watch Super Bowls in HD.  And so that we can all have access to life saving technology.

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