Patients can become entrepreneurs in their own healthcare with the right push for engagement and if we make available enough learning materials and resources – the result will be a complete overhaul of our current healthcare structure.

Health entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity using scarce resources. The goal for entrepreneurs is to create user defined value through the deployment of health innovation. Those who embrace the entrepreneurial mindset and practice entrepreneurial habits hold the keys to the kingdom when it comes to improved sick care and health outcomes.

In fact, it is unlikely that any independent practitioner or group can survive, let alone thrive,without moving to an entrepreneurial role from a being a technician. That does not mean you have to start a company. It means that everything you do has to create user defined value. No move should be wasted.

The space between the data and the doctor is being filled quickly with navigators, advocates and “infomediaries”. As responsibility for health outcomes increasingly shifts from doctors to patients, they become, in a sense, patient entrepreneurs, creating value (better disease management and prevention) through the deployment and adoption of innovation. The result will be more DIY medicine and all that goes with it.

We are not only democratizing care. We are democratizing and decentralizing value creation and funding. We are creating prosumers and accidental entrepreneurs.

What the result will be is anybody’s guess, but what is clear is that the rules, ecosystems, business models and technologies are inevitably facilitating more patient involvement, engagement and responsibility.

Amedzon has recently announced a service that will allow AI based algorithms to be applied to EMR data. Would you charge someone a fee to do that and place restrictions on its use if you owned your data?

Silicon Valley startup Open Health Network, which develops AI-based applications for healthcare organizations like UCSF, Sanofi and Cornell University has launched a new product meant to use blockchain technology to allow patients to manage and monetize their medical data. If successful patients will be able to sell their assets on the PDX. a NASDAQ for patient data.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has proposed a streamlined set of 15 core measures that they say represent the most vital signs for tracking progress toward improved health and healthcare in the United States.

They are:

  • Life expectancy
  • Well-being
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Addictive behavior
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Healthy communities
  • Preventive services
  • Care access
  • Patient safety
  • Evidence-based care
  • Care match with patient goals
  • Personal spending burden
  • Population spending burden
  • Individual engagement
  • Community engagement

Like all entrepreneurs, to succeed in sick care entrepreneurship, patients will need education, resources (low interest loans or seed stage funding), networks (connected to sick care professionals to inform their thinking and design), mentors, experience and peer to peer support. While is it nice to see more and more health professionals and educators embracing biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship, most patients are still standing on the sidelines or recovering in the ICU. However, things are changing and we need to remove the barriers to patient entrepreneurship so they can, like health professionals, get their ideas to other patients.

Apple has changed the game with HealthKit expanding how we do human genotyping and how we do clinical trials. My Retina Tracker, an online registry for patients with retina diseases to store their medial records and provide anonymous data to researchers.

Is it unlikely that we will be able to move the needle on most of these without the involvement of patient entrepreneurs , patient scientists and doctors assuming more of their traditional role as teachers, not just healers. Remember, docere is the Latin word for teacher and don’t forget those pediatric patient entrepreneurs.

Author bio

arlen meyers entrepreneurs health digital medicine ai patientsBy Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.

Arlen Meyers is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at . He has created several medical device and digital health companies. Most of them failed. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization.

He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism — nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures.