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When it Comes to Healthcare Innovation: It Doesn’t Take Much

Public services need innovation. Innovation is making things, not jumping about saying how great it is. Healthcare is in dire need of help, there are minor changes that could make a large difference. Medical treatment is concentrated geographically to certain areas. Doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, specialist facilities. Of course it is the people who work at these places doing the treating. But then what are treatments but procedures? The means of providing these spaces, people and procedures needs to be suspended when we think about efficiency, we hold as natural that these services should be available to all and therefore paid for by all- the proporations are where the arguments start.

We can all agree money and time oil the wheels of this machine. Money can make time go faster for bits of reality. The package sat waiting in the analysis clinic is waiting faster than the package still waiting to be picked up on the weekly round of surgeries in a rural area. We’re already quantifying ourselves. My friend downloaded a pedometer app for her iPhone and was shocked to see her default Health app had been keeping track all along. Two things here, one is that we’re largely unaware of how many ways we’re being tracked, the second is that we don’t have agency with that data.

The NHS is working overtime under budget for what the UK population needs. I cannot speak for any other place but I am forever grateful a regular check up at the doctor won’t cost me a thing. Except, that possibility is disappearing. At a clinic in a Northern town where I used to live you had 10 minutes to see a GP. 600 seconds. As soon as your name is called they’re off, of course if you can move quickly this only (only) takes 30 seconds, but if you’re elderly or say, injured, you might take longer. Wanting to preserve the equality of time every still gets 10 minutes, but the allotted appointment times shift and shift, you will wait an hour longer than necessary. It isn’t really 600 seconds. In the appointment, more time debt is created. Certain procedures require more appointments. The length of the procedure could be minor, no need for a new addition to the waiting room.

When this is talked about in the press, churned from government data the average time is just factored in. Deal with it. I’m a single man with shockingly few responsibilities, I can take an hour hit. I have no kids to collect from school, I will be fine. The average hides the individual. We’re moving into an age where we’re treated very specifically in a way that serves to release dopamine (thanks for the like), but not in a way that manages our health as a whole.

A basic suggestion. You can pee in a bottle you can bleed in a bottle.

Data privacy is obviously a huge issue here, but allowing freedom to create our own data on being healthy and educating people how to safely and reasonably use such technology is the self-determination we need in post-industrial societies. We can take back control using the tools from the companies that took it away. This is an article asking about the decentralisation of healthcare and how innovation in healthcare does not need to focus on innovative deregulation of finance.

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Mathew Sayer

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