Microsoft: Transform The Way Healthcare is Delivered

Written By: Paul Ehrlich, M.D., Dr. Scott Boyle, and Hanan Lavy (Microsoft Ventures)

In the past century, medicine has gone from a largely unscientific trade where noxious drugs were given to patients to purge them of unknown toxins to a science where we have the technology to decode the human genome and peer into the deepest recesses of our anatomy non-invasively.  We have learned so much and generated massive amounts of data relevant to the understanding and care of the human body.

Globally, we spend enormous sums on healthcare, but we are not necessarily getting any healthier.  In 2012, U.S. healthcare spending was $2.8 trillion, or roughly 18% of GDP[1].  Compare this with the global average of 10.2%, the EU at 10.1% or The Netherlands, the developed country with the second highest per capita spending of 12.4%. Despite the scientific advances and extraordinary spending, access to the best, most effective care is far from ubiquitous.

Healthcare, like any other industry, is driven by motivators. While government and regulatory pressures drive many behaviors in medicine, financial considerations are also important drivers  When healthcare reimbursement works on a fee-for-service system in which providers are compensated for each service they provide, the incentives do not necessarily  promote the most efficient and cost-effective options. Rather, the incentives encourage the delivery of “more” healthcare. But we don’t necessarily need “more” – we need “smarter.” More adds costs. Smarter solves problems.

We are beginning to align incentives toward smarter as opposed to more. In the U.S., reimbursement is being coupled with improved outcomes.  We are also developing improved access to meaningful data so that we can connect the dots into a coherent picture and transform the way care is delivered.  It will allow the smartest, most efficient and most effective use of health resources to best impact those whom it matters the most: the people who receive care.

Entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to get paid for fixing what is broken in our healthcare system.  Solving problems will reap rewards.  To cultivate innovation, BD is teaming with Microsoft to bring the expertise of the industry leaders in medical devices and big data to help guide the innovators and entrepreneurs who wish to truly transform healthcare.

BD and Microsoft are establishing a unique accelerator experience for startups creating advancements for the healthcare industry. The four-month program will be located at the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Tel Aviv, Israel, and those selected to participate will be provided mentorship and market expertise to help them accelerate their business. Interested entrepreneurs and startups can apply now at http://www.microsoftventures.com/accelerators/telaviv. Application period ends on July 24th. Program will be conducted from September 2014 through January 2015.


[1] http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.TOTL.ZS

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