Guest post by Joseph H. Kanter, founder of the Kanter Family Foundation.
“If I ran my business the way our healthcare system operates, I’d go bankrupt,” is all I could think almost two decades ago, as I struggled with a life-or-death decision – which course of treatment to pursue for my prostate cancer.
As a self-made businessman whose key to entrepreneurial success stemmed from informing every business decision I made with objective data, I simply could not believe that none of my doctors could answer a seemingly simple question I posed. “Based on the experiences of other patients like me,” I asked, “which treatment is likely to work best?” Every doctor I saw was only able to answer with, “In my experiences…”
Data did not exist to offer me the information I desired to inform my decision.
My frustrating patient experience led me to envision what some experts now believe is the key to the cure. I imagined a health system in which every patient’s health experiences would be captured digitally and in which we would learn from millions of people’s lifetimes of health experiences (while safeguarding privacy).