Major New Fernando Flores Work Product

Fernando Flores has just delivered a major report to the nation of Chile on the subjects of innovation and preparing for the future. In English, SURFING TOWARDS THE FUTURE: CHILE ON THE 2025 HORIZON, explores “strategic orientations for innovation” for the nation over the coming decades. The document, and the work of preparing it, comes from the Chilean National Council on Innovation for Competitiveness, under Flores’ leadership.

In a blog posting reprinted in The Wall Street Journal CIO Journal, Irving Wladawsky-Berger praised the report for its creation of a new historical background for understanding and interacting with innovation. You can read his comment by clicking this title: Wall Street Journal_Innovation as a Journey Into the Future

For those with serious interest in how innovation occurs, this report is a treasure. It examines the phenomena of innovation, the background in which innovation occurs, the current historical state of the world in which innovation arrives, and proposes directions for investigation and action for Chile that can readily be seen as relevant and deeply related to the challenges faced by communities of all sizes and types around the world.  Further, the report re-frames, in important new ways, the questions of leadership and design for anyone who takes responsibility for guiding their community or enterprise into the future that is before us.

A full copy of the English translation of the report can be downloaded here.

I recommend it.

George Lakoff: Health,Life, and Freedom are Moral Issues.

Lakoff begins this short essay with …

“It is time for Democrats to talk about health in those terms, beyond just policy terms like health insurance reform, bending the cost curve, types of exchanges, etc.”

He is right, but I propose that it is not nearly enough for Democrats to do that. The whole country needs to begin to do that.

It is past time for us to begin to recognize that slanderous opinions, spin, slanting our reports and interpretations, and outright lying about fundamental questions in human life harm all of us.

We are well on the way to becoming a nation of lobbyists – a nation of people with no respect for the truth, life, freedom, or … health.

George Lakoff: Health Means Life; Health Means Freedom.

How health lobbyists influenced reform bill –

The Huffington Post headlined this story: Gift-Wrapped for Lobbyists: How the Health Care Lobby Swarmed Congress and Got What It Wanted. At Least 278 Former Congressional Aides Lobbied On Health Care, Over $600 Million Spent… Health Industry Stocks Hit 52-Week Highs Last Week… Arianna: Lobbyists Should Be Time’s Persons Of The Year.

Hope for a Healthcare Agreement

Deal on health bill is reached.

This link has the President speaking historically about a battle with the healthcare industry over a patient’s bill of rights stretching over decades.

I pray that the extension of care to uncovered citizens that he believes will be now provided, and that this fight is now over. For decades the insurance industry (and other parts of the healthcare industry) have spent astonishing amounts of their customers’ money to aim an army of marketers in the guise of lobbyists at the telling of tall tales, lies, and murderous interpretations about that industry’s behavior to those who we elected to govern the nation. About the nature of the army that has been fighting against healthcare for all of our citizens, the President is right, but I think that the fight is by no means over, and that his words will end up more fuel for partisan fires.

The biggest part of the problem lies with us. I guess that holding the healthcare industry accountable, while a paramount issue, is by no means the crux of the issue of our ‘best of times/worst of times’ healthcare system.

The core of the fight, I think, is over what kinds of human beings we think we are, and what we are going to be concerned with, and right now far too many of us are afraid of the wrong things, ambitious for the wrong things, willing to commit ourselves to care for the wrong things.

When our people was a baby, and in the hands of people named Jefferson and Adams, here is what they said about what we were up to:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. ….”

“We are incompetent for communication,” my friend Fernando Flores said in a speech in the early 1980s. The we is you and I, and the citizens of this country, and one of the areas in which we are presently harvesting the benefits of that incompetence is in our healthcare.

I would appreciate your help

As I noted a few days ago, my colleagues and I at CareCyte have posted a proposal to the Obama Healthcare team, inviting them to undertake a project that we believe would significantly reduce healthcare costs at the same time that it improved quality, and, simultaneously, because we would be using automobile-style manufacturing processes, make a huge contribution to the automobile and steel industries in the U.S.

(Roald Laurenson reminds me that it is not so easy to find the proposal in the way that I pointed to it.  So I put this link to the proposal in this posting. Thank you Roald!)

I would really appreciate it if you would take a look at the proposal and help us raise it to the attention of the new administration. You can leave your comment on the website.

To see how to do that, click here.

Thank you very much!


Important Advance in Oral Health

I have had severe gum disease since I was in my late 20s. I brought it on with a combination of poor home care and smoking. I have evidence that 0steoporosis and some poor orthodontia contributed to my difficulties. Of course, as a dutiful son, I held my mother responsible. She always got a laugh out of that.

Along the way I have discovered that a lot of people suffer with difficulties with oral health – cavities or periodontal disease. The published numbers say that more than 5% of those over 35 have moderate gum disease. By the time you get to my age, more than 10% of the population have at least moderate gum disease.

The real problem is some wicked little bacteria that like to live in pockets and create mischief in our mouths. And, recent research has shown, that mischief in our mouths can contribute to even more serious difficulties in other parts of the body, including the heart.

Some friends of mine have developed and just released a probiotic product that puts into the mouth a combination of “good bacteria” which, when ingested as directed (and alongside appropriate home care) will effectively eliminate gum disease and dental caries. Side effects that they promise include fresh breath and whiter teeth….

I have just ordered my first supply of the product, EvoraPlus from ONI Biopharma, Inc. They have an offer where if you set up automatic reorders they pay shipping. In a few weeks or months this product will be available in your local Drugstore.

If you have any concerns at all about the health of your mouth, your teeth, or your gums, I recommend you join me in using this product.

Full disclosure: Stanley Stein, the CEO of ONI BioPharma, is chief strategist for CareCyte, and I serve on the board of directors of ONI BioPharma’s Mexican subsidiary.

Concerned about Healthcare? Watch this!

Last week I had my first meeting with my new primary care doctor. He works with Qliance Medical Group here in Seattle. I cannot tell you how pleased I am with their services. I have already recommended here looking at what they do.

On March 26th, Dr. Garrison Bliss, who founded Qliance Medical, spoke to the Washington Association of Health Underwriters about the situation of healthcare in the US, and what to do about it. If you are concerned about healthcare, for yourself or for the nation, or for both, I strongly recommend listening to this talk. Listen here.

Below I have paraphrased a little of what he said, as a teaser. The talk is really excellent.

Bliss asks, Why do we have the healthcare system we have? His answer: we designed the system to work this way, albeit not with the intention of producing the results we have produced.

He asks, with the current system, who wins?

Continue reading “Concerned about Healthcare? Watch this!”

An Impressive Start on a New Service Delivery Model

Today I began the process of signing up for a new kind of primary healthcare services. What I am signing up for has not been available in most of the US since I was a child. I will have a primary care doctor who will be available for appointments on the day I call, or the next day, 7 days a week, and available by phone when I need help. The doctor will meet me in their office, and not in a hospital. The doctor will track my health with me, and advise me on how to design my life so that I can remain healthy to do the things I want to do in my life. Of course, the doctor takes time off, and if I get sick when he or she does, I will be served by one of their colleagues. For this service I will pay $55/month.

I will maintain my health insurance, because this is primary care we are talking about, and not care for what we pray we will not encounter – the terrible illnesses in which we might need the dangerous and formidably expensive services of a big hospital. But I will increase my deductible massively so that the cost of that insurance will come down from its current level of $1,000+/month for Shirah and me. After we finish balancing the various services I will pay a lot less for healthcare than I do today, and I will get far, far better service.

You can see what I am signing up for here, and you can see the inventor of the service talking about his invention here. I recommend you think about this as an important start on a new future for healthcare in the US. It looks simple, and on the surface very similar to what is already done. It is not the same; this is a radical departure from the approach found throughout the country today. One place where you can grasp the difference is that my new doctor will have under 1,000 patients, and a “normal” primary care physician will have 3-4,000 patients. The service I am signing up for is currently available only in Seattle, but it will expand rapidly to other parts of the country.

For some time now I have been preparing a new company, CareCyte. My colleagues and I at CareCyte have been speculating about and beginning the design of a new kind of primary care that is desperately needed here in the US and in many other parts of the world. The group that I am signing up with is working on the third generation of a design to address the same challenge we have been working on. They have arrived at the point where they are preparing to scale an effective new approach to primary care services that fits beautifully with what we have been preparing ourselves to do. And, better yet, they are our neighbors here in Seattle. We hope to help them spread this across the country by providing a new standard of high-quality facilities for healthcare service delivery at lower costs, and much faster than has been possible in the past.

Superb Overview of Health, Population, Money in the World

In this wonderfully done TED talk, Hans Rosling, a Professor at a Swedish Medical School, not only shows in a lovely way a compelling picture of the state of the world today. He also shows the way that common sense is powerfully misleading people in the world about what is going on around the world, and he makes a proposal for new ways of grounding development conversations in the world in the future.

New Developments – Seattle!

After 35 years in the SF Bay Area, and 21 years in the same home in Alameda, my wife and I are packed and heading north tomorrow, to Seattle. I will participate in founding a new firm based there. The firm, CareCyte, has the mission of improving access to quality healthcare. We will provide elegantly simple healthcare facilities, designed and sized for the needs of communities with limited or no access, delivered in much less time than construction normally takes, at significantly lower cost. We are currently in the process of planning the business, completing designs, working out relationships with initial customers, and raising money.

At this moment I cannot figure out how I will blog about this new venture, but I am committed to continue and expand this exploration begun about a year ago.

I welcome your suggestions.