The objective of technology is to drive down cost and the commoditization of a product makes it cheaper. That said healthcare doesn’t necessarily need to be a hand-crafted masterpiece. Masterpieces are beautiful, but how many people can afford them? In healthcare, people need affordable processes, procedures and results that they can attain, afford and use to improve their lives.
These are the prevailing sentiments depicted in a new colorful, moving documentary film produced by Health Catalyst. The 29-minute film, “From the Heart: Healthcare Transformation from India to the Cayman Islands,” premiered at the Healthcare Analytics Summit in Salt Lake City late last summer.
The film tells the story of Dr. Devi Shetty of Bangalore, India, who describes his multi-year mission to deliver radically lower-cost heart surgeries to those who cannot afford them in India, allowing families to choose life rather than almost certain death because of the condition. Doing so allows parents to receive affordable care that empowers them to save their young children with heart defects rather than watching them die.
“A hundred years after the first heart surgery, less than 20 percent of the population can afford it. For 80 percent of the worlds’ population, if they ever require a heart operation, they’re going to die. This is unacceptable. Healthcare has to be available to everyone on this planet with dignity and that is what we are trying to do. And it’s going to happen, I’m convinced of that. It’s going to happen in our own lifetime,” said Dr. Devi Shetty, chairman and founder of Narayana Health.
Narayana’s average cardiac hospital to perform thousands of heart surgeries per year for less than $1,400 per case – about 2 percent of the average cost for heart surgery in the US.
“Henry Ford proved that the commoditization of a product makes it cheaper, makes it better and makes it more efficient,” said Dr. Shetty. “I strongly believe that we have to commoditize the delivery of healthcare, and that is the model that Health City represents for the world.”
Dr. Shetty, who was Mother Teresa’s personal physician, replicates his work in India and takes it to the Cayman Islands where the film takes viewers where this year Shetty, in collaboration with business and government leadership on the island, opened a similar, state-of-the-art hospital, Health City, at a fraction of the U.S. cost, producing better outcomes and higher patient safety.