5 Thoughts on Connected Health from Intel’s MD: “It’s time to put Marcus Welby to bed”

July 11, 2013



connected health

(First published on MedCityNews)



connected health

(First published on MedCityNews)

Dr. Mark Blatt,the worldwide medical director at Intel, envisions a future where doctors can “see” twice as many patients in a day for a fraction of what it costs today. But seeing doesn’t necessarily mean seeing in-person.

A family doctor by training, Blatt hung up his stethoscope in 2000 and now helps Intel develop technologies to make care more accessible, efficient and affordable. Here are four of the best moments from his fireside chat Tuesday at CONVERGE.

1. “It’s time to put Marcus Welby to bed.”

Blatt said he went into medicine because he wanted to be like the all-knowing, fatherlike 1970s TV physician Marcus Welby. But that’s not how a doctor always needs to be these days. In many situations, telemedicine, algorithms and avatars can provide the same kind of medical services, but for more people and at a lower price point.

2. “Aside from the fact that there was no business model and it was probably illegal, it was a good idea.” Blatt said he started really thinking about connected health on accident after a long weekend on call, when he triaged and treated patients over the phone and still got good outcomes.

3. Moore’s Law should apply to healthcare. The value of healthcare should double while the cost gets cut in half. “I won’t ask you to do it twice a year; I’ll ask you to do it once in a decade,” he said.

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4. “I’d change (the word) physician to clinician.” Medicine isn’t just a doctor’s practice anymore. As mid-level clinicians play an increasingly important role in the delivery of care, they will benefit from new digital technologies just as much as physicians will, Blatt said.

5. “When bubbles end, they don’t end gracefully.” Healthcare is in a bubble; no one individually can afford it. As the industry faces an inevitable crash, concierge medical service on tablets and smartphones come into play. Blatt posited that half of hospitals will go out of business in the next ten years, yielding to home-based systems and services.

Originally published on MedCityNews.com.

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