Healthcare is an industry as much as a science. Innovations that enable the system to deliver better quality at a lower cost are as likely to come from IT, business processes, and design as from new medicines. Moving medicine fully into the digital world could be the linchpin of a more integrated, coordinated approach, if the technology can mesh neatly with the needs of patients, providers, and payers; existing business models; and the complexity of medicine itself.
Electronic medical records and big data have huge promise for improving medicine, but creating a system that works for physicians is a daunting task. By starting with a single specialty—dermatology—Modernizing Medicine has created an electronic application that allows doctors to rapidly enter clinical information, and to draw on the data gathered from thousands of others doing the same. Co-founder Dr. Michael Sherling ’02 discussed the endeavor and how it fits into broader efforts to mesh incentives, incorporate technology, and execute effective change.