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Unique nature of healthcare holding back innovation, even with consumer demand

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Innovation almost by rule drives cost down in other industries, but not so much in healthcare. “Healthcare is unique in that every added feature increases the cost,” Dr. Diego Miralles, head of Janssen Healthcare Innovation, part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, said last week during a live TEDMED webcast.

One exception to that rule, however, is generic drugs, which have been shown to reduce spending, Miralles said.

Digital health may be another, but only if it truly engages consumers and/or offers real value to healthcare practitioners, other panelists suggested. “I would posit that innovation can’t happen unless you’re bringing the end user to the table to be part of it,” suggested Margaret Anderson, executive director of FasterCures, an organization that seeks to accelerate the pace of medical research.

Dr. Lisa Bielamowicz, senior VP for physician strategy at the Advisory Board Co., said primary care physicians and other clinicians know, for example, how to treat diabetic patients, but often struggle in engaging patients to take a more active role in their own care. That is where digital health can come in.

Read more on MobiHealthNews.

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