Afternoon, ladies and gentlemen
First of all, let
me thank the organizers of this event that invited me here today,
to give me the opportunity to speak to you.
I am the last speaker
for the day, and I am sure you are all a little tired by now,
so therefore I will try to be quick, and hopefully I shall keep
your interest focused on this presentation.
I prepared on the
subject of Healthcare revolution for Community Development
in China, and indeed; this is a most fashionable topic these
days, as now nearly every nation has began to recognize the importance
of managing healthcare more efficiently and more economically.
is a basic need within society, just as clean water, pollution
free air or the need of basic security. It is a none-negotiable
provision that our community leaders should provide in an un-politicized
fashion for the common good of all.
Unlike common believe,
it is healthcare that is the oldest profession on earth. In fact,
in agent societies it was a duty of the spiritual leaders to practice
healthcare. The druids of the Celtic villages 2000 years ago are
an example that comes readily to mind. Even today the so-called
medicine man of African natives is still a leftover of this agent
practice. So, we can safely say, that healthcare is a central
and important aspect of our lives for many millenniums.
In the beginning
of my presentation I will now talk about the current healthcare
conditions in the west, and I will explain some important facts
about them. Naturally, you expect relative information pertaining
to China, so please bare with me, I will get to China in due time
during my talk.
The current practice
of healthcare in the west offers just such perfect example of
how NOT to do it, that I simply cannot resist using
it also here today.
Some say, that we
must improve Healthcare substantially, so that the pace of improving
healthcare matches that of advancements in, lets say modern biology.
In past years technology and science have made significant progress
in nearly all areas. Nevertheless, only little has translated
into the day-to-day practice of building sustainable, safe and
well managed healthcare communities around the globe.
In fact, the situation
in healthcare is so dire, especially in the west, that it threatens
the very existence of commercial businesses, communities and even
the economies of whole countries.
For example, the
US currently spends nearly 3 trillion dollars on healthcare with
very little to be proud of, considering the enormous problems
that exist in their healthcare system in spite of enormous spending;
yet it still claims to be one of the best in terms of results
So I guess one can
only begin to wonder how bad it is elsewhere.
Lets talk about some current examples:
General Motors is
spending currently more money on healthcare then it spends on
steel; but making cars from steel is their primary business; not
Clearly, looking at such numbers, it is no wonder that this company
got into great financial difficulties in past years.
Additionally we can
notice, in spite of the horrendous expenditures, that the healthcare,
which General Motors employees are receiving, is consistent with
that of any other healthcare community:
It is ineffective,
expensive, full of medical errors, plagued by corruption due to
the strong influence of special interest groups, and most of all
badly managed from bottom up, and also from top down.
Naturally, we dont
have to look only west, to see fundamental problems in healthcare.
South America, Asia, Africa are plagued equally or worse with
just very few exceptions in between.
One of the premier
problems in todays healthcare is, that we practice it exactly
as we did some 50 or 100 years ago.
For example, there
is no centralized and coherent flow of patient data management
that supports the entire healthcare management of any community
such as, lets say, a company, a village, a city, a country or
maybe even the human community of whole planet.
Think about this:
Every single time,
that there is an interaction between a doctor and a patient, anywhere
in the world, there is some extremely valuable knowledge created
that should be preserved, compared and analyzed.
is not just valuable for the patient, and important enough to
be preserved for her or him; but more importantly, for the whole
field of medicine, because we can statistically track important
conditional correlations between drugs, illnesses, environmental
and sociological conditions, genetics, and many other such vital
Yet, in spite of
this empirical fact, doctors treat patients, and store the results
of treatments in outdated record systems mostly on paper, or if
electronic, then at places where they are inaccessible by the
general healthcare process; and often on incompatible standards,
and worse of all, never re-analyzed after the patient has left
And why should he?
The case is closed, the bill is paid; and after all
patient is in our modern healthcare process simply just a profit-center!
Nothing more! Nothing less!
Beyond the problems
this process creates for the individual patient, this is also
the single most amazing case of wasted knowledge imaginable.
Envision, what all
this information could produce in terms of identifying epidemics,
drug deficiencies; or on a more complex scenario, the hidden combinations
of drug and health conditions that escalate into new illnesses
undetected, just because we dont have coherent and broadly
machine analyzed access to the collective information of all healthcare
But there are other
additional problems with current systems in ambulant applications!
and inconsistent quality of care are some of the main areas of
concern in how we practice medicine in our communities.
A recent 2008 Institute
of Medicine report states the following:
and 98.000 Americans die each year from medical errors. At least
90% of these are preventable. Many more die or have permanent
disability because of inappropriate treatments, mistreatments,
or missed treatments in ambulant settings."
More people die each year in the United States alone from
medical errors than from highway accidents, breast cancer or AIDS
If this is not shocking
to you then lets try this:
In 2007 a multinational
study was performed in 27 countries to evaluate the frequency
and the possible causes of medical errors.
Altogether just 113
intensive care units with a total of 1328 patients.
The care units self-reported
for one specific single day the frequency and the probable cause
of the errors committed.
Remember! We are
talking her about a very small sample on one single day!
The results are simply shocking:
A total of 861 errors
occurred to 1.328 patients! 19% of these cases were exposed to
multiple errors. This means, that 191 patients, that is 14%, experienced
more then one error!
14 patients who experienced
errors died or were permanently handicapped as a result.
The reported reasons for these errors lay clearly in the insufficient
communication and information structure in todays healthcare
It is clear, there
is a major opportunity here to bring about change, and this finally
leads me to the subject of Healthcare as Community Development
opportunity in China.
We begin by looking
carefully at 2 interesting factors:
First of all, lets
talk about the development of data processing technology and its
current levels of readiness:
Today we have powerful
networks, computer systems and databases that are capable to handle
in real time the complete health care history of every human living
on this planet
and still would not show any signs of computational
We could without
any problems give every patient and every health practitioner
on this planet a convenient and secure web interface that would
allow everybody to enter and store every single health record
update in a central data processing system, without compromising
any privacy issues. To the contrary, such system would enforce
privacy better then anything we got today.
Such systems and
the their current and emerging network technologies could be configured
powerful enough to let every doctor practicing on this planet;
every pharmacist; every medical researcher use this system in
real time; in parallel, and still, such system would easily manage
to real-time process all data, store every record, and background-analyze
all records every 24 hours against all new medical knowledge gained
in every previous 24-hour period.
We could easily automate
all clinical research in the view of billions of doctor-patient
interaction records, and very quickly find out, what treatment
would work, under what conditions; however complex; and what would
We could build such
system completely patient-centered and give the patient the right
and responsibility to check and update his own record whenever
needed, become a active and responsible part in his or her healthcare
process, rather then just be an uninformed spectator of current
When we talk to visionary
healthcare practitioners all over the world and present them with
this idea, they seem to all agree: this is the ONLY way, how we
can solve the cost and quality problems in modern healthcare.
Without exception; all agree!
So; why are we not using it? Well, this leads me to my second
Nearly all countries
in this world manage community development as a decentralized
task. In fact it became a real trend in the 1980s under Ronald
Regan in the US to abandon all centralized governmental procedures
and let communities figure out themselves, how to solve the problems
of such community development.
Nearly all bought
into this analogy, and today most countries suffer extensively
from those effects
except one: CHINA
China has more then
1000 years of solid experience in how to develop communities from
a completely centralized perspective.
At no other time
in history could this pay more dividends then now, when finally
modern communication technologies will allow China to implement
efficient and centralized healthcare systems similar to those
described just a moment ago.
China will be able to do this natively, because its system is
ready for it; for 1000 years.
And in such way,
China will be able to take fully advantage of globalized knowledge,
and reuse it through centralized processing and communication
systems in real-time, to thrive community development, whereby
every community can take advantage of new knowledge developed
in any other community, even communities outside of China, in
a intercultural and interdisciplinary way.
Not only would this
usher in a true revolution in healthcare for China, but moreover,
it would give China the tools today to leapfrog the entire global
community in healthcare, setting so a new standard and leadership
in this area.
What are the chances,
that such revolution could take place here in China in the near
future? They are very high! All conditions are present in this
No country has adapted
in the last 2 or 3 decades to global technological developments
as radically and as uncompromising as China.
If you have missed
this fact about China, you have not been looking very carefully.
If the potential of the healthcare revolution will be realized
by China, it will become a most successful prove of concept, in
how to use the power of technology within the framework of a centralized
framework to foster high-quality community development in most
There is no doubt
in my mind, that a Chinese technology driven centralized community
development strategy, if realized vigorously, will result in global
leadership in many areas in the shortest time, and set so new
The magic formula is:
Technology = Winning Strategy
The question is:
will the rest of the world adapt?
As we all well know
from the laws of evolution:
It is not the strongest
. It is the one that is most adaptable to change!
Time will tell!
Thank you, and good