Corporate Innovation As an Engine for Change: Panel Discussion (Discussion)
FRIEDMAN: We have the luxury of having time for conversation with 4 of the leading experts in the country in 2 different areas, digital pathology and integrated diagnostics. I am going to start with a question to both Gene Cartwright and David Okrongly. This question pertains to a program that has been launched by Siemens and GE. GE calls it “Early Health Model” and Siemens calls it “Early Detection and Treatment.” I have been fascinated by this concept as I think it represents a totally new paradigm in the health care process. I do not want to put too fine a point on this, but early health model can be defined as preclinical, presymptomatic diagnosis. If a patient is diagnosed in a preclinical, presymptomatic state, this essentially brings the diagnostic enterprise to the center stage. We are all used to the current model where the physician takes a history from the patient and asks, “What is bothering you?” With the current disease model, if the patient says “nothing,” the physician says, “I will see you next year,” or perhaps some subsequent time. With the early health model, it is the diagnosticians who are going to essentially pin a diagnosis on the patient in a presymptomatic state. There are a lot of participants in the current health care delivery process who will be agitated and perhaps disturbed by this new approach. Payers will be bothered for sure and probably Big Pharma, because all of the clinical trials have been based on treatment of symptomatic patients. I would like to ask Gene and David to share with us their perceptions of this early health model, early detection and treatment. How was this idea hatched and what will be the future implications of this new paradigm for the pathologist and the lab medicine specialist? CARTWRIGHT: I will try to answer that in a relatively simple way. The largest overview at GE for early health was mentioned earlier in the meeting: taking about 10% of the money that is now spent on therapy and moving that to diagnostics. If we do that, we believe that we can significantly lower the total cost of health care. From a diagnostic standpoint and from a pathology standpoint we see that there will be great things in our future. I think also at the same time that it accomplishes a reduction in overall health care costs.