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Castlight Health presents their vision of health care consumerism at Strata Rx
The stress of falling seriously ill often drags along the frustration of having no idea what the treatment will cost. We’ve all experienced the maddening stream of seemingly endless hospital bills, and testimony by E-patient Dave DeBronkart and others show just how absurd U.S. payment systems are.
Castlight casts its work in the framework of a service to employers and consumers. But make no mistake about it: they are a data-rich research operation, and their consumers become empowered patients (e-patients) who can make better choices.
As Arjun Kulothungun, John Zedlewski, and Eugenia Bisignani wrote to me, “Patients become empowered when actionable information is made available to them. In health care, like any other industry, people want high quality services at competitive prices. But in health care, quality and cost are often impossible for an average consumer to determine. We are proud to do the heavy lifting to bring this information to our users.”
Following are more questions and answers from the speakers: Read more…
A call for data scientists, technologists, health professionals, and business leaders to convene.
We are launching a conference at the intersection of health, health care, and data. Why?
Our health care system is in crisis. We are experiencing epidemic levels of obesity, diabetes, and other preventable conditions while at the same time our health care system costs are spiraling higher. Most of us have experienced increasing health care costs in our businesses or have seen our personal share of insurance premiums rise rapidly. Worse, we may be living with a chronic or life-threatening disease while struggling to obtain effective therapies and interventions — finding ourselves lumped in with “average patients” instead of receiving effective care designed to work for our specific situation.
In short, particularly in the United States, we are paying too much for too much care of the wrong kind and getting poor results. All the while our diet and lifestyle failures are demanding even more from the system. In the past few decades we’ve dropped from the world’s best health care system to the 37th, and we seem likely to drop further if things don’t change.
The very public fight over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought this to the fore of our attention, but this is a situation that has been brewing for a long time. With the ACA’s arrival, increasing costs and poor outcomes, at least in part, are going to be the responsibility of the federal government. The fiscal outlook for that responsibility doesn’t look good and solving this crisis is no longer optional; it’s urgent.
There are many reasons for the crisis, and there’s no silver bullet. Health and health care live at the confluence of diet and exercise norms, destructive business incentives, antiquated care models, and a system that has severe learning disabilities. We aren’t preventing the preventable, and once we’re sick we’re paying for procedures and tests instead of results; and those interventions were designed for some non-existent average patient so much of it is wasted. Later we mostly ignore the data that could help the system learn and adapt.
It’s all too easy to be gloomy about the outlook for health and health care, but this is also a moment of great opportunity. We face this crisis armed with vast new data sources, the emerging tools and techniques to analyze them, an ACA policy framework that emphasizes outcomes over procedures, and a growing recognition that these are problems worth solving.
A glimpse into enterprise use of big data.
Feedback from a recent Strata Online Conference suggests there's a large demand for clear information on what big data is and how it will change business.
Smart companies use data to ask the right questions and take swift action.
Alistair Croll looks at how data is shaping consumer expectations and how those expectations, in turn, are shaping businesses. He also examines where business intelligence stops and big data starts.
Even if you have petabyes of data, you still need to know how to ask the right questions to apply it.
Today's big companies are losing to small upstarts simply because those firms ask better questions. To compete, large enterprises need to learn how to harvest the data they have on customers, markets, competitors, and products.
Applications for Strata's startup showcase are due by Friday, Jan. 21.
Strata's startup showcase is a great opportunity for data-oriented startups to get exposure, feedback and the chance to pitch on the main stage. But hurry because entries close this Friday (Jan. 21).
Get your submission in for the Strata Conference Science Fair by January 14.
Strata's science fair will showcase the creative edges of big data. If you have an interesting tool or technology to show — the more beta, the better — let us know.