Everyone knows the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” When it comes to healthcare, many people also have the attitude “if it’s too broke, don’t fix it.” It is incredibly easy to look around at all of the systemic problems, structural failures, social factors, questionable incentivisation systems, loopholes, behavioral challenges, etc., toss your hands up, and give in to the idea that there is just too much broken to actually engage.
With my personal experience in the healthcare system and coming from a medical device manufacturing company, I was heavily influenced by this attitude of being a small, small screw in a huge, slogging machine that is healthcare. I began to value pragmatism and a known path to success more than the prospect of being creative, trying something, and maybe failing but maybe succeeding.
After speaking with hundreds of entrepreneurs and C-level executives, attending many tech and health conferences, and touring all types of healthcare facilities across the world, I feel empowered. In all of this exposure and these hands on experiences, there are literally thousands of healthcare companies that we could have created. Amongst our team, every interaction about a healthcare problem quickly turned from complaining to a tsunami of potential solutions.
This fellowship cannot be boiled down. I am grateful for the unprecedented access to the healthcare system and the chance of learning by doing. Even with all of the brilliant people we have met along the way, I am most thankful for my team and all of the support, learnings, hardwork, and creativity they provided.
Kapil told us the fictitious story about a man walking down the ocean shore at the lowest of tides. There were thousands of beached starfish who didn’t get swept out to sea with the changing tide. The man was picking up the starfish, one by one, and tossing them back into the ocean. Another man came up to him and said, “there are thousands of beached starfish. What are you doing? What difference does it make?” The first man picked up a starfish, tossed it into the ocean and said “it made a difference to that one.” That is the only way to improve healthcare and that is why I cannot wait to try.