The Future of Health Care

Dr. Michael Burcham

Dr. Michael Burcham

Legendary Health Care Executive and Industry Leading Entrepreneur

While attending a significant healthcare conference this fall – I found myself thinking about the Future of Healthcare.  I came to the realization that the future of healthcare is really “Human Care.”

The future is about what’s needed to transform and personalize the health care experience for the patient and their families. The future of healthcare is about removing barriers; making healthcare affordable; delivering transparency; sharing data; and integrating health and healthcare into the way consumers have already done with so many other facets of their lives.

The converging forces of a true retail consumer market and emerging digital innovations will disrupt traditional healthcare on par with what ATMs did to banking, Netflix did to video entertainment or Uber did to the taxi industry.

Here are some of thoughts on the Future of Healthcare:

  • The words “consumer” and “human” will lead us to the right place to start building meaningful relationships – the greatest disruptor of the healthcare system is the consumer.
  • We need to move healthcare from “what’s the matter with you” to “what matters to you.”
  • End users never complain about being involved too early in the product development process.  Let’s get them involved early in the design.
  • There is indeed a direct link between health literacy and the overall state of health of a community. 
  • The real Paradox of Choice – too many choices lead to no decisions (aka:  Hicks Law).  Choice must be put in a digestible set of options.
  • There is no silver bullet – healthcare transformation occurs one customer (consumer) at a time. 
  • Targeted therapies are turning cancer into a chronic disease.
  • Bold leaders who really what to be disruptive bet on new innovations while the rest of the industry just continues to do financial engineering M&A.
  • Price is a powerful data point.  A real customer is the greatest validator of a concept.
  • Identify which preferences really matter to consumers – then offer options that are empowering – not overpowering.
  • Simplicity and trusted advice account for almost 60% of what drives consumer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Cornerstones of great service that are daily occurrences in the retail and the consumer brand space must also apply to the business of health.
  • Empathy, personal service, empowerment and shared perspectives are all part of our new health reality.
  • The job of a healthcare leader is not to preserve the status quo. We must evolve. Leaders must be change agents, driving innovation across their organizations.
  • The greatest drivers in our evolution are technology and personal data.
  • Imagine a world where the gene markers for chronic illness are identified before you are born.  
  • The learning to come from sharing outcomes across communities and across continents will improve the health of the world – and in doing so, improves the health of your own family.

As I reflect on the work to develop the  Future of Healthcare, one thought continues to resonate for me at a deeply personal level: “real transformation begins with one human being.” It all begins with me (and you) – and our having the courage to transform health - one consumer at a time. And to deliver that care, we need a community with a shared purpose and a singular voice. 

I formed Narus Health with a singular purpose: to change the healthcare conversation for those facing life-limiting illness. If we are truly going to revolutionize the way we care for those with life-limiting illness, we must build a culture rooted in the service of others. Listening first to understand and placing what matters most to our patients, their families, physicians and our partners above all else.

I am inspired by the future of our industry – and I am committed to creating a better system for human beings. Human care.  


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