Business Rants

Physicians, Diabetes Technology and Artificial Intelligence

How can physicians get involved in diabetes technology and artificial intelligence?

Before we get to the How, let’s start with the WHY.  Why do we need to get involved?

We need a collective voice.  Just like ADA or AACE, they are the collective voice for clinical guidelines and standards of care. We need an organization where there are standards for technology in diabetes and artificial intelligence.  This can be a corporation, association, pro profit, non profit, etc….  One big company with thousands of  endocrinologists and other diabetes professionals behind it.

I think it has to be done for profit.  I think we are all looking for secondary incomes along the way.  Let’s all share the revenue and ALL make money.

Another reason why is cost of healthcare is going up while our revenues are decreasing.  We need technology to lower cost as well as increase revenue for providers.  At the same time improving diabetes care- it’s dismal currently.  Plus making insurance companies and ACOs and employers happy all at the same time.  This is a big feat, but the only way is through technology.  If you have technology that does NOT do all of these things, I believe it will not survive long term.  It has to make everyone happy.

The trouble with endocrinologists is that we are very opinionated.  While we squabble over Medtronic vs T-slim, Jardiance vs Invokana, Victoza vs Trulicity, we are missing an greater opportunity to do greater things.


Let’s join forces and create this much larger company/group and start sharing resources. Some of us have apps, some of us are using robots in the office, some are other creative systems and processes in place.  Let’s discuss and create a new way of practicing medicine.

You have an app that motivates patients?  You are using a robot in the office? Well, let’s take a look at it, get input from everyone, make changes and we ALL implement it in our practices.

We as a collective give opinions on other companies and their technology.  We become the voice of what is good and what is bad and where things are headed or where they need to go instead.  Lots of companies ask what I think about this or that, but I am just one provider in one practice.  If we represented thousands or even hundreds, they will listen.

We are consultants to large corporations.   We provide a roadmap to lead to Artificial Intelligence.  We specify what data needs to be collected, we help collect the data, we make sense out of it.  We create the AI protocols and algorithms.

Once we make these decisions, we can ALL implement as a collective.

Let’s start with describing how the future will look and build the steps to get there.  How can we be part of that?  You have big companies involved in this technology space.  You have Dexcom, Medtronic, Google, IBM’s watson.  It may seem overwhelming.  We seem miniscule.  However, we are not.  We are the brains behind the operation and we will be the ones that drive this technology and implement it.  We see these big names and we just shut down and say we can’t compete with them, but they have nothing.  All they have are ideas right now.  These ideas scare us because we are not used to it.  But, they need our help to create this technology.

Start with having everyone describe the way they practice and what is helpful and what technology and resources they use and what they need help in.

Most of the endocrinologists do not have time with their busy lives and practices.  This is more for people who are sick and tired of the technology that is out there.  This is for the creative people who really want to make a change.

On a personal note (shameless plug), I have an app as well,  I am working with Boheringer Ingelheim, Dexcom, Privia, Cigna, Medicare, Employers and local endocrinologists to implement this lower cost, higher revenue, better care model.  I can’t do much because it’s just me.  I don’t mind sharing profits for those that help along the way.  It’s a lot of work.  I am open to ideas, partnerships, etc…. I may be bankrupt in a year, but I have to try….


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