The post JP Morgan Healthcare Conference buzz is changing. Many are asking if the juice is worth the squeeze. Everything costs more leading up to and including the week the healthcare conference is in town. Mind you this is already layered onto the normal exponentially higher costs of anything in San Francisco.
If you want to sit down and have a coffee and conversation anywhere within a feasible radius of the epicenter of the conference--there are now table fees. Everyone wants a piece of the proverbial pie--even if the biotech world isn't even on their radar--there is money to be had and gosh darn it--they want some of it.
This hit my inbox this morning and also seems a little tone deaf. The summary statement is the following:
$14.6B of venture funding pumped through digital health in 2018, making it the most-funded year since we started tracking the market. But while growth has become the norm, trends suggest that this is just the first inning of a very long game.
Download the full report if you are interested but a quick glance points to the revenue streams possible by funding digital "health".
Douglas Rushkoff suggests that the pivot from connecting people on social media toward getting people out of the way is intentional and a bellwether for a different economy.
Look no further than the role of technologic advances in diagnostics & screenings. We create mass screening initiatives and if anyone suggests the unsustainable costs and potential harms? Well you can hear the sharpening of pitchforks while the dwindling few become hoarse whispering, "What about Bayesian priors"?
What more efficient way to remove the individual than to hype machine learning? It reminds me of a recent article in wired magazine. The Exaggerated Promise of So-Called Unbiased Data Mining.
Nobel laureate Richard Feynman once asked his Caltech students to calculate the probability that, if he walked outside the classroom, the first car in the parking lot would have a specific license plate, say 6ZNA74. Assuming every number and letter are equally likely and determined independently, the students estimated the probability to be less than 1 in 17 million.
The cacophony regarding technology and digital transformation doesn't make any sense to me. Every single advance is pushing past the human elements. We create substitutes for understanding, trust, connection, awareness--but are we considering the cost? Do you believe the patient is the primary focus of digital start-ups or perhaps it is their data? What else can explain the large-scale investments.
What people wouldn't or wouldn't pay for with money, we would now pay for with personal data. But something larger had also changed. The platforms themselves were no longer in the business of delivering people to one another, they were in the business of delivering people to marketers. Humans were no longer the customers of social media. We were the product--Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff
I can't help think that if we were investing in social change instead of digital economics we would see investment levels of less orders of magnitude. Do you think investor shareholders are looking for marginal profits or growth-based capitalism? Think about the evaluation of twitter.
Forbes ranked twitter #21 at $24.7 billion dollars as of Jun 2018. Am I the crazy person in the room or does that seem like a lot of money for a social media built on connections? I think we both know that is not the purpose of the platform. We are the product. The price is for our attention. Power to our pupils.
It's not the meme that matters, but the culture's ability to muster an effective immune response against it.--Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff
What happens now? We either guide culture toward returning our autonomy and privacy by making different digital choices or we shrug our shoulders and pretend this is what innovation looks like.
Under the pretense of solving problems and making people's lives easier, most of our technological innovations just get people out of sight, or out of the way. This is the true legacy of the Industrial Age.
I get it. I don't have the pressure of working for a pharmaceutical company, industry stakeholder, or agency driven by profits and growth. But we all need time for contemplative thought. If corporations are externalizing costs, who is paying the price?
I would argue it is the consumer no longer offered the ability to "smooth consumption" over time as they pay for a prescription unwittingly reimbursing the "innovators" for the price of "R&D" at the point of sale--in the now.
We are no longer being courted for our attention with thoughtful and beneficial information. It is a rush to the bottom. I would also argue that we have seen it coming. And decided to blink instead...