+1 386-243-9402 MON – FRI : 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM

People at a conferenceThe 21st Annual Genesys Partners Venture Dinner at the Union League Club in New York on March 27, 2015 included more than 100 invited venture capitalists, investors, journalists, entrepreneurs, and industry executives. Jim Kollegger, CEO of Genesys Partners and host of the dinner asks me each year to offer my view of the status of the Internet and health care. This is one man’s view of the evolution of the Internet including the seven characteristics I discuss every year.  The things going on under each characteristic continuously change and in a short dinner speech I hit a few highlights.

Check markBroadband in the U.S. is getting faster, but not cheaper. The FCC has developed rules to preserve Net Neutrality. The concept is not to disallow different pricing for different user demands, but to prevent balkanization of the Internet where an operator and a content company might form an exclusive arrangement that blocks access for others or creates a fast lane that might disadvantage new startups. Verizon sued the FCC and was upheld. However, the Federal judge ruling also validated the FCC’s ability to regulate broadband which it has now announced plans to do. Government regulation is often not a good thing but in this case I trust the FCC more than the telcos and cable operaters.

Check markWiFi is part of the fabric of the world. Gigabit WiFi is here and will provide dramatic performance improvement for office buildings, campuses, and homes. Ultra HD 4K TV will be streaming to multiple large flat panels throughout the home — with no network cables. In healthcare, always on means better care for patients with chronic illness and home healthcare telemonitoring may grow ten-fold over the next few years. The Medical Body Area Network (MBAN) was approved by the FCC and will facilitate wireless healthcare.

Check markIn last year’s “Everywhere” I talked about the billion computers (including tablets), one billion cars, one and a half billion televisions, two billion Internet users, and nearly six billion paid cellular subscribers. Last night I talked about 3D printing. It is happening everywhere and having the effect of the industrial revolution. 3D printing touches every segment, but I am most impressed with what is happening in regenerative medicine. Researchers in the U.K. have developed a technique to simultaneously print a scaffold and living stem cells to create human bone tissue. Eventually, any body part will be replaceable.

Check markSocial networking continues to be fundamental to healthcare and spawns vertical sites such as patientslikeme.com. Further empowering consumers are sites like zocdoc.com that allow you to make doctor appointments in a simple and useful way. The newly emerging trend is for consumers to perform self-diagnosis. Doctors worry consumers may self-diagnose, then self-prescribe, and possibly self-destruct. However, new techniques such as Isabel can put patients in the loop, gain highly accurate information through differential diagnostic technology, and improve the productivity of doctors. Consumers are now using mHealth devices to measure cholesterol, heart activity, and eventually genomic measures.

Check markThe biggest growth of intelligence is occurring in the field of analytics. Exabytes of data are being stored. Analytics will enable businesses to make sense of it, model their business, and continuously adapt to what is going on. IBM’s Watson took on humans on the Jeopardy Show, but what is more interesting is the ability for a primary care physician to call and get a recommendation based on patient data they describe to Watson. Within a couple of seconds Watson will be able to review all relevant medical information in the world and make a useful suggestion. Within 5-10 years, Watson may be available on a smartphone.

Check markThis may be the year for TV to get easier. Last year I talked about the three remotes — BlueRay, Cable box, and TV — including 153 buttons. Even a savvy child could not possibly master this impossible user interface. An Apple TV remote has three buttons. Apple is rumored to be announcing new TV Stations available through the Apple TV. Once consumers can get news and sports on their Apple TV or Roku or Amazon Fire TV, millions will cut the cord that has been locking them in to high prices and hundreds of channels most of which are never watched.

Check markThere are many dimensions to trust. Can we trust the Internet with our healthcare information. I said we can trust the Internet but not necessarily companies like Anthem that do not properly protect the data. I also talked about Bitcoin. The various nefarious things we hear about related to Bitcoin are about people we can’t trust, not about Bitcoin. With Bitcoin, we are trusting the Internet and cryptography. The evolution of Bitcoin has all the trappings of the web of 1995. The last question posed was whether we can trust our hospitals and doctors and big pharma. That is what Health Attitude is about.

Health Attitude was published last week.

Health Attitude book cover