The Future of Clinics week 1

Bambi Francisco Roizen · January 30, 2018 · Short URL:

See new models of care as we reinvent doctor's offices and rethink communities

For our upcoming SplashX Invent Health series, we're going to focus on the "Future of Clinics." I'm often asked, what do you mean by "clinics" since this definition appears to be evolving. Therein lies the reason we want to focus on this topic because indeed the meaning is changing.

Our mobile phones are clinics in and of themselves as many apps are storing a treasure trove of medical knowledge and a lexicon of diseases to help us understand how to diagnose and treat tummy aches, fatigue, minor pains to nausea. 

The recent CVS-Aetna deal also underscores how retail pharmacies are expanding their definition of health services. Startups such as One Medical, Forward and CityBlock are also redesigning how healthcare is accessed and delivered.  

Esther Dyson's Welville is rethinking health by not thinking about solutions to help those who are sick, but thinking of solutions to keep the healthy... healthy. 

Leading up to our next salon-styled gathering, we'll post recommended reading materials, such as news posts, articles, essays and research reports. These weekly posts, we hope, will prepare us to have a vibrant discussion at our SplashX Invent Health event on March 15, 2018. 

(Editor's note: Dr. Archana Dubey (Global Medical Director, HPE), Bambi Francisco (CEO, Vator), and Frances A. Ayalasomayajula (Global Healthcare Solutions, HP) invite you to this highly-curated gathering to discuss the future of our clinics. Check out our SplashX Invent Health small gathering, co-hosted by HP).

So here's our stories to read this week!

Investors view: Creating value on the way to Welville

Esther Dyson explains why she and her team created Welville. Essentially, they wanted "to raise awareness of our nation’s enormous annual health care costs—$3 trillion, spent mostly on illness after it occurs—and to challenge community teams to create better solutions. Since then, the social determinants of health have come to the forefront. New models for care encourage health systems to reach outside the clinic. And a host of nonprofit and commercial entities aim to capitalize, some with big funding, including a recent startup from Google parent company Alphabet.

As investors, we think communities have a unique opportunity here. Lost in the debate over health care costs is that health is an asset. The way to grow this asset is through the careful nurturing of community conditions, good use of resources, and the mutually supporting efforts of multiple stakeholders working together. That is the essential role of community health collaboratives."

Go Esther. We are big fans of this approach. 

Read more.

Healthcare shifts: More care centers at workplaces

This post does a good job articulating changes in local care. 

"The way physicians provide healthcare is undergoing some seismic shifts, from walk-in doctor visits that treat patients where they work to clinics that provide services beyond the typical offerings. Take, for instance, The Wall Street Journal's spotlight on Stephen Fealy, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in New York, who sees patients at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s clinic on the 10th floor of the firm’s headquarters." 

It also gives data on the growth of on-sited medical care facilities. "This year, around 50% of American businesses will offer on-site medical carefor employees, up from around 30% in 2014, Larry Boress, of the National Association of Worksite Health Centers, told the newspaper. The level of care can vary from a single nurse to a team of primary care doctors and specialists that might include dermatologists, gynecologists, physical therapists and chiropractors."

Read more.

Bringing healthcare to school children in Jacksonville's poorest neighborhoods

Here's a new clinic profile specifically for school children in underprivileged areas in Jacksonville, where few private physicians have offices or accept Medicaid patients. The two new school-based health centers are run by Baptist Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. 

"The clinics will function like doctor’s offices, providing such services as vaccinations, physical exams, and flu treatments. They also will help students manage chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes," according to The Florida Times Union. They'll also work with children and families to live and eat healthy. The Sulzbacher Center, which provides services for homeless men, women and children in Northeast Florida, have data that indicate that only four percent of the adult and child population in two zip codes has seen a primary-care doctor. 

Education about how to stay healthy and access to information as well as physicians is a big part of the solution. Kudos to Baptist Health and Wolfson Children's Hospital. 

Read more. 

This isn't good.
The National Association of Community Health Centers estimates that without new money from Congress, centers will face an immediate 70 percent cut in funding, resulting in 9 million patients losing care and 2,800 of an estimated 10,400 delivery sites closing," according to The Hill. Funding for these centers expired in September. There's a new government-spending measure that could see funds added for these centers. But that would have to be determined before Feb. 8, the next shutdown deadline. This would be a bad situation for veterans, who've relied on a 2014 law allowing eligible ones to receive care outside VA providers, including at these community health centers. 
A new operating system for healthcare

I've always wondered why Alexa can record my breakfast conversations, but when I see my primary physician, there's no recording at all of these conversations. I'm sure it has something to do with being HIPAA compliant, but follow me on this. Why does a nurse comes in, take my blood pressure, weight, etc. and jot it all down while she verbally shares the information with me? Why, I wonder, can't there be a robot nurse in the background recording this? Well, that's changing.
Forward, a new clinic in San Francisco's financial district, is reinventing the doctor's office. At Forward, patients "glide from the lobby to an infrared body scanner that reads their vital signs. In a warmly lit examination room, the doctor flicks on a black wall-size screen visualizing the data. Medical recommendations flash across the screen. Speech-recognition algorithms help transcribe the conversation in real time and add to a patient’s health records. Patients can swing by the on-site pharmacy for drugs, health sensors, or a Forward-branded water bottle. After walking out the door, an app relays biometric data to the clinic, where medical staff monitoring patients can respond to text messages within 30 seconds and around the clock," according to a profile in Quartz.
Pretty cool. 
Image source: Gettyimages,, Sunshineclinic
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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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