We all have our version of going to church. It is the place you go so you can feel good in not-so-good times. Sometimes, church is cranking AC/DC in your car (or operating room — a new study shows that playing AC/DC makes surgeons better at surgery). Or church can be watching disaster movies with happy endings. We appreciate the maybe-it-could-happen kind, like The Day After Tomorrow, Twister, 2012, and Armageddon, because the semi-realism actually provides comfort, unlike the involves-aliens-or-something-not-believable, like Independence Day, Men in Black, or The Internship (that last one isn’t so much a disaster movie as it is a disastrous movie, and it is totally unrealistic because we all know that no one at Google would give Vince Vaughn an internship). In the One Thoughtful Paragraph below, we explain how things may be a disaster in the health data world, but could still have a happy ending.
The main problem with the 2004 movie The Day After Tomorrow, is not all the science gaffes that make it possible to tell a story about how global warming leads to a new ice age, it is all the dumb healthcare stories. There is a pediatric cancer patient who is abandoned in the middle of a storm with only his tearful doctor to stand by him, the girl who is somehow miraculously cured of severe sepsis from one shot of penicillin … you just have to suspend disbelief so you can enjoy the drama, suspense, and happy ending. For digital health nerds, we are in the part of the movie that makes you both hopeful and wonder how it is all going to be ok at the end. And while Rock Health just explained how digital health investment took a nosedive in Q1 2022, it also recently published an article that tells a pretty good story about how far we have come on health care data interoperability. Not only did they rightfully explain that interoperability is the key to value-based care, they also recognized the importance of consumer-facing devices and data collection — particularly the importance of direct-to-consumer diagnostics startups. Yes, these innovations are fraught with trust and integration issues, but it is these kind of game-changers that will be how the healthcare system can become truly consumer-centric. This isn’t going to happen The Day After Tomorrow, but at least it won’t involve a health care delivery system that forces people to get penicillin off of Russian ships while being chased by wolves. At least, Rock Health did not mention a start-up with that model.