Jessica DaMassa

AMA to Health Tech: Call a Doctor

“That’s why we’re investing so heavily in the innovation space…we look at physicians and how they’re spending their days. The amount of time they’re spending clicking away on their EHRs, wasting time – we think we can help fix it. It’s been a lot of years of other people not fixing it. We think it’s time for physicians to actually be in the rooms helping to make those solutions.” — Dr. Jack Resneck, Chairman of the Board, AMA

Sounds to me like physicians are a little disappointed in health tech. Don’t get me wrong. This is not another ‘digital health snake oil’ controversy. (Although we do go there…)

Instead, my main takeaway from this conversation with Dr. Jack Resneck, Chairman of the Board for the AMA, is that physicians don’t exactly feel included or engaged in the tech revolution happening in healthcare.

In short, while docs are excited about innovation, it seems they don’t feel heard. So much so that the AMA has created its own Silicon Valley-based ‘business formation and commercialization enterprise’ called Health2047 to prioritize solution development for what physicians have deemed the biggest systemic issues in healthcare. What’s out there is just missing the mark and, in more instances than not, says Dr. Resneck, the practicing physician’s perspective on what problems need to be solved in the first place.

I open this interview by asking what digital health entrepreneurs and health tech startups can do to work more effectively with physicians. The answer, it seems, might be as simple as ‘just ask your doctor.’

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1 reply »

  1. Let’s assume that our nation’s healthcare industry represents a broad cluster of institutions that are not successfully achieving the attributes of quality and cost required to solve the following objective (defined by Eleanor Roosevelt): “Its better for everybody when it gets better for everybody.” We should all begin by acknowledging a shared definition of an INSTITUTION.

    I cite the definition of Elinor Ostrom, Nobel economist, for an institution:
    .”…the rules that humans use to organize all forms of repetitive and
    .structured interactions including within families, neighborhoods, markets, firms,
    .sports leagues, churches, private institutions, and governments at all scales.
    .Individuals interacting within rule-structured situations face choices
    .regarding the actions and strategies they may take, leading to consequences
    .for themselves and for others. The opportunities and constraints individuals face
    .in any particular situation, the information they obtain or are excluded from, and
    .how they reason about the situation are all affected by the rules or
    .absence of rules that structure the situation. Further, the rules affecting
    .one situation are themselves crafted by individuals interacting
    .in deeper-level situations. For example, the rules we use when driving
    .to work every day are crafted by officials acting within their collective-choice
    .rules to structure their deliberations and decisions. If the individuals
    .who are crafting and modifying rules do not understand how particular
    .combinations of rules affect actions and outcomes affects actions and
    .outcomes in a particular ecological and cultural environment, rules changes
    .may produce unexpected and, at times, DISASTROUS OUTCOMES.”
    .( capitals my edit – pjn )

    The quotation occurs on the first page of Professor Ostrom’s book UNDERSTANDING INSTITUTIONAL DIVERSITY published in 2005. The book might be considered a “must read” for anyone who is mystified by the lack of progress within our nation’s healthcare reform. Hint: you may need to read the definition above several times to appreciate its relevance. As a retired physician, it represents a clear explanation for understanding the origins of physician “burn-out.”

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