QUALITY/POLICY: Futurist’s forecast from Clem Bezold

Clem Bezold from Institute for Alternative Futures (kind of the alternative IFTF) gave an overview of the conference and an optimistic 2016 forecast for the availability of broadband to the home, better knowledge and personalized tools that will work on that information. Then he gets a little more controversial, including personal values, need for universal coverage, end of life care in context, etc — all as part of care in 2016

His main talk is about accelerating Disparity Reducing Advances project—wants to accelerate the technologies and process that reduce the social disparities in health care. They are not looking at the bigger picture of employment, education, etc, (consciously) and its impact on health, but they think that they can make a difference in the health care provision and tech part. They’re trying to pick their targets. And the first one is:

—Prevent obesity in poor populations. That leads to different levels of action in diff government and social programs. but we need to change the social environment, including getting the right foods into the right neighborhoods, as well as doing the health care screening and pre-diabetes initiatives. So there are a whole variety of factors you;d get to for any diseases, and information therapy is a big part.

Some things they’re trying—working with cell phones (LG has launched a diabetes phone this month which has a built in test strip reader. Also looking at biomonitoring activity, all connected to cell phones infrastructure. But needs to be connected to services. There are proposals to say that spectrum should not be auctioned off, but instead should be free (internet telephony over free wiMax?). That will be all added to patient and care giver “navigation”.

His forecast for monitoring. By 2008 standards for biomonitoring; by 2012 reimbursement has changed so it gets pay for; by 2016 common in us for monitoring the chronically ill and elderly. My feelings that this is about right, but it’ll require a whole hell of a lot of changes in the system…and of course there are huge infrastructure issues for the lower income providers (tech access, language, etc) which Clem spelled out clearly (and far too quickly to note down easily!)

Clem is an “aspirational” futurist who’s trying to change the future as much as explain it. At IFTF we were “analytical” futurists, and we derided the aspirational guys as the “personal helicopters by the year 2000” school of futurist — but his talk was really interesting, and frankly alot of analytical futurism is by definition wrong. So hopefully Clem provoked some big goals that we should all be going after.

I asked him about the norms of advertising for food and obesity—he thinks policy things can be done. And also about the system change required for home monitoring? How can the system change? He thinks that health care will be redesigned the hard way, otherwise it’s a perfect storm. It’ll get worse before it gets better. How do you get the patients and care-givers in the right place within the system. We will re-torque our use of health care providers to make that change.

Josh Seidman put up the Ghandi mantra “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” I think Ix is still being ignored, but soon it’ll be heading to the “fighting” part—and that is when it’ll get brutal.

Meanwhile in a moment of Ghandi zen, here’s a photo of a balloon over the canyons this morning