Monday, July 18, 2016

The Octopus As Analogy for Healthcare Innovation


“ 'When an octopus settles on a coral reef, it changes colors to provide protection from predators. But the color changes are not directed centrally … Each cell has the innate capacity to recognize its surroundings and change color to match.

We need that type of decentralized innovation in medicine today – innovation that starts with the provider and the patient.'

"In the last chapter of his landmark book, Fixing the Primary Care Crisis, Stephen C. Schimpff, MD FACP, introduces the above, unusual but striking analogy, for the current healthcare conundrum.
Innovation is ubiquitous in the healthcare community. We have come to expect it from our medical professionals, scientists and pharmaceutical companies. What sets Dr. Schimpff’s cause célèbre apart is his understanding that the healthcare delivery system itself is most in need of innovation.

"It is impossible to disagree with Dr. Schimpff’s compelling argument: The solution to the American healthcare conundrum should be decentralized and begin at the bottom!

"Innovation From the Bottom Up”

Quoted from Michael R H Stewart founder of Crowdfunding For Good and available  in its entirety at this link: 


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Praise for Dr Schimpff

The craft of science writing requires skills that are arguably the most underestimated and misunderstood in the media world. Dumbing down all too often gets mistaken for clarity. Showmanship frequently masks a poor presentation of scientific issues. Factoids are paraded in lieu of ideas. Answers are marketed at the expense of searching questions. By contrast, Steve Schimpff provides a fine combination of enlightenment and reading satisfaction. As a medical scientist he brings his readers encyclopedic knowledge of his subject. As a teacher and as a medical ambassador to other disciplines he's learned how to explain medical breakthroughs without unnecessary jargon. As an advisor to policymakers he's acquired the knack of cutting directly to the practical effects, showing how advances in medical science affect the big lifestyle and economic questions that concern us all. But Schimpff's greatest strength as a writer is that he's a physician through and through, caring above all for the person. His engaging conversational style, insights and fascinating treasury of cutting-edge information leave both lay readers and medical professionals turning his pages. In his hands the impact of new medical technologies and discoveries becomes an engrossing story about what lies ahead for us in the 21st century: as healthy people, as patients of all ages, as children, as parents, as taxpayers, as both consumers and providers of health services. There can be few greater stories than the adventure of what awaits our minds, bodies, budgets, lifespans and societies as new technologies change our world. Schimpff tells it with passion, vision, sweep, intelligence and an urgency that none of us can ignore.

-- N.J. Slabbert, science writer, co-author of Innovation, The Key to Prosperity: Technology & America's Role in the 21st Century Global Economy (with Aris Melissaratos, director of technology enterprise at the John Hopkins University).