TED Conversations

Christina Nesheva

GlaxoSmithKline plc


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What is the future of healthcare? How can it become health care vs sickness treatment? What role do technology and innovation play?

Healthcare costs are rising, the population is aging and medical needs are greater than ever. How can patients receive better quality care at an affordable price? How can we leverage technology to provide better and more affordable healthcare around the world?


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    Oct 23 2011: The issue in the US, in my opinion is not the concept of health insurance, which seem quite viable. You can insure yourself against a catastrophic and unforeseen/unavoidable event. The issue, as I see it, is that we as consumers have deferred our "health responsibility" to an industry whose job (as an industry, I am not referring to a doctor who has taken an oath) is to be profitable and to which this industry has exercised its right to partner with other industries like pharmaceutical. This is an unnatural relationship for an industry to bear and the result is that our medical system is clogged with patients who are not actually participating in their own recovery. What should be “diagnosis, advice, short term care and recovery” is instead “diagnosis, advice, prescribe, and long term care”.
    Using Medicare spending as a model, "the big four" illnesses by cost are Heart Disease, Diabetes, Stroke and Lung Disease. The total medicare spend on these four was nearly $500 Billion in 2007 compared to $10 Billion on Cancer. The issue is that ALL of these are lifestyle related and controllable diseases. These huge numbers however are clear evidence that we are not changing our lifestyle or controlling these diseases, we are opting for long term care.
    The answer to the growing health care crisis is for us as consumers to address what is making us sick, seek expert advice, take advantage of the most advance health care available on the planet for short term care and whenever possible, take responsibility to change whatever you need to recover.
    It is possible that the collapse of the current health care model will finally drive that change in our collective psyche.
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      Oct 25 2011: You make a good point. One respondant to another thread of this discussion felt that he had no choice about paying an insurance company. Yes, going with insurance is "safer" but its not the only choice. As you mention, it may take a collapse for some people to see the situation from a different perspective.

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