Rahul Patel: I can give you a life-changing application that is very useful, and I think people will appreciate it. It is in the medical space. Say there is somebody who is not doing well whose health needs to be constantly monitored. One way of solving this is having the person constantly close to a doctor in a hospital. The way things are at this stage, it is a very expensive proposition. If you are wearing certain sensory technology that monitors you all the time and communicates that data without you having to go back to the doctor’s office on a constant basis, it is a life-changing event. You get a lot more done and information is measured more accurately. Such devices also enable doctors and the supporting staff to support a patient from anywhere in the world. This is immensely valuable, and it is improving longevity.
Such devices also make the medical world a lot more affordable because you get ahead of a problem before it strikes you. I will give you an example of my own. A week before I have to go to a physical examination, my eating and exercising habits change. Effectively I am [preparing] for the blood sample that is collected. When I walk into the doctor’s office, he gets the best sample of my physical health. Clearly I am not doing justice to myself in the process, and I am not helping the doctor make an accurate assessment of my health. But if I have the right sensors – a good daily collection of data that helps me, the doctor or the hospital collect the right data – they might do something extraordinary. My data is collected securely and managed and placed in a location. When I walk into the doctor’s office, the doctor has a full spectrum of my valuable data over 365 days rather than just one sample of data. The amount of analysis a doctor can do with this and the accuracy of that data is tremendous. That is one example.
Another example is if I have a pain in my chest, I tend to ignore it and say, “This is a normal thing. It happens every once in a while.” But if that chest pain had a certain vital statistic associated with it, without me going to the doctor, that information is transferred back to the doctor. The doctor deems it to be valuable, calls me into his or her office and says this is something we cannot ignore. On a practical level, my health is being assessed a lot better, and I am potentially setting myself up to get ahead of my problems before they occur. I believe these are life-changing events. If I present this appropriately to my mother or to somebody who is in another part of the world, that person would appreciate it as well.
SM: I think this is a good place to bring back the iPod/iTunes analogy because what you described is great, but you also need the insurance system to be compatible with this mode of preventive care. It isn’t right now. So you need a total solution. Just like for the iPod to be successful you needed to deal with the music industry, royalty structures, and the iTunes store. All those have to come together. The application you are describing would be great from a preventive care point of view, bu the healthcare and insurance systems need to work with it.
RP: If you want to reach the average consumer, you need a fully vertically integrated system.
SM: What you described is a very interesting opportunity to build a company. It was very good talking to you, Rahul.
RP: Thank you very much.