Can We Innovate Ourselves Out of America's Aging Crisis?

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My fear is, that we'll have to hurt more as a nation, before we innovate as a nation. Governments respond better to threat than they do opportunity. Right now, we have the opportunity to get out in front of this and prepare for global aging because we're not far along on the global aging curve as Europe and Asia are, and what you see is.

And what you see is, the lion's share care of innovation around independent living and disease management technologies and home health technologies like we've been trying to make happen for this last decade, the energy is in Europe and Asia because they're already facing the crisis. They've got a higher percentage of older people, they've got more problems with debt from pension and how they're going to care of all these retirees.

So, it's driving them very quickly to say, oh! my gosh, we can't afford to keep throwing people in the hospitals and nursing homes, we've got to come up with a different model. The US, in some sense, as frightening as its most recent economic downturn has been for people, it's kind of the dress rehearsal for what's coming if we don't fix health care, and even in the way in which I see the population respond and the politicians respond to the health reform activities that we've got I don't think we actually understand the consequences and the stakes here, and we think in our hue Brest as a country that it's like our innovation and our ingenuity is going to pull us out of this somehow.

The reality of it is its like were not educating people, we're not innovating, we're not creating the conditions in which innovation can happen quickly. The health reform Bill that passed in the US is pretty innovation-friendly, and it's going to start to move us and remove some of these financial incentives that say everything must occur to a hospital, there's openings now where doing care at home.

We think that 70-80% of care that's done in the hospital can be done safely, effectively and more cost effectively in a home, today. So, the Bill starts to create a space in which we can move in that direction, but I'm worried that we won't move fast enough, and we'll probably have to have a bunch more economic scare before we finally say, holy cow!

we've got to do things differently. And we got baby boomers, who I suspect are not going to go to the places that they sent their parents to, and are going to want tools that help them manage their own health and wellness, and I'm hoping that they're going to disrupt the institution of healthcare just like they've disrupted the institutions of parenting, and all the education and all the other things that they've done as that cobort[sp?] has come through, I hope that's what they do.