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Why Health-Tech's Sharpest Minds Still Need to Focus on the Fundamentals


"We have doctors doing life-and-death stuff every day and we've turned them into secretaries."

The healthcare technology field isn’t short on brainpower or innovation. Andrew Pecora, MD, certainly knows that—he’s been a part of numerous startups, and he serves as Executive Chairman of the precision medicine company Cota Healthcare, which just closed a $40 million Series C round.

But the field still needs to focus on the fundamentals of healthcare: doctors and patients. Speaking to Healthcare Analytics News™ yesterday at the annual HIMSS conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, he outlined why he thinks certain dynamics surrounding both of those populations need to change, and why the health tech realm needs to focus on them more.

Andrew Pecora, MD, Explains Why Health Tech Should Focus More on Doctors and Patients

I'm hoping that we are really focused on 2 fundamental things.

One is the amount of time that physicians spend now documenting, getting what's in their mind’s eye onto a substrate that allows them to bill a bill to validate that they provided a service, or to pull in information from disparate sources.

That is so inefficient, it's so awful, it makes no sense.

Imagine a pilot trying to land a complex aircraft in a blizzard and they didn't have at-the-point, actionable, accurate, real-time information. And yet we have doctors doing life-and-death stuff every day and we've turned them into secretaries. How do we undo that?

My greatest hope is that the minds in this place focus on that.

The second is the patient, when the patient goes home. Decades go into discovery to create a magical pill you take to cure an incurable disease, and patients don't take it, or they forget, or they can't afford it, or they can't find it, or they don't know how to report side effects. They go to the emergency room when they should do simple things.

You're a consumer until you're sick, then you're a patient. When you're not sick anymore now you're a consumer again. No one chooses to get sick. You choose that you want a car, you choose to buy a house. You don't choose to need your gallbladder out.

That interface between the patient and the doctor when they're home, to [encourage them to] do the right thing, I think is another thing that the genius of technology can help.

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