Otellini: We need a personal health reformation

Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini writing in Politico weighs in on the US’s helathcare reform debate with a short piece on the need to refocus healthcare from a doctor-dependent, hospital-dependent focused model to a home-based selfcare focused one. Was this item ghostwritten for him by an Intel minion, or was it his own work? See what you think. If the latter, it implies a strong personal commitment to the telehealth cause.

1 thought on “Otellini: We need a personal health reformation

  1. A very scary article indeed

    Steve, I agree that there is a commitment to telehealth/telecare, veiled in point 5 of “Build a competitive personal health work force of ‘virtual care’ clinicians who are nationally trained, credentialed and licensed to provide cost-effective, efficient care services across the U.S. to patients in their homes for disease management, independent living, rehab and prevention.” This would surely aid the development of all the mobile/remote monitoring technology by giving a home for the data and hopefully a caregiver who would step into action when needed. This part is not bad at all and perfectly doable in a private system. And Intel may be poised to benefit greatly here.

    Also a wellness model to me is better than the disease-centered model we have here now. In some areas doctors do (and are pushed to do) too much or be penalized–consider cholesterol levels.

    It’s the rest of it.

    Mr. Otellini, ghosted or not, speaks like a tech bureaucrat who deals with nice, neat quantifiable systems. The care of human beings is a little different. If Mr. Otellini believes otherwise, then he can stake Intel to developing that “virtual care clinicians” network as a start. (disclosure–I am a small shareholder of Intel) It’s called “put your commitment/money where your smart words are.”

    But all I see here is that the government has to dictate the solutions for healthcare. In other words, to us it will be “turn your health and the system over to the US government, we will dictate how it works and do the job for you”.

    There is an inherent contradiction in fully government-dictated care and personal responsibility (his point 1). If government is taking care of you, why bother to take your own actions in your diet, self-monitoring, lifestyle etc.? We then get into the ethics of government punishments and control, which is debatable to say the least.

    Add to this the “let’s blame doctors and nurses” in point 2. How does one define “outcomes and performance” in a “personal responsibility to maintain wellness” scheme? Who will be doing the measurements of “outcomes and performance”? A bureaucrat? Mr. Otellini? If a physician sees a patient at home to check on a high glucose level reported by the “virtual clinicians”–and finds a UTI or some mild cognitive impairment that hasn’t been picked up–is that a good or bad outcome? Is the physician penalized for not preventing same? Who decides? Medical professionals are already tied into “outcomes and performance” for the insurance companies and pharmacy benefits–ask any doctor in private practice, they hate it and fight it every day! And this is especially true with “mental status” care given by gerontologists and psychiatrists.

    It is a sad day when private companies look to the government to do the job, instead of pioneering a great idea either themselves or backing others.

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