Trilogy Tidings
October 2014
in this issue
What Will the Apple Watch Mean for Healthcare?
Silicon Valley is Coming Up Short
The Best Leaders Are Insatiable Learners
What does Trilogy do?
Resources from our Archives
     I'm kinda fed up with new smartphones, wearables, and other consumer gadgets that I cannot imagine being useful (other than claiming membership in a cool fan club). I'm focused on medtech, so I wonder what all these new gadgets might mean for the improvement of delivering care to patients and making clinicians more effective. I have reached some conclusions ... 


What Will the Apple Watch Mean for Healthcare?      

     In two words, not much.

Apple Watch

     Like earlier attempts at so-called wearable technology, the Apple Watch will presumably allow you to monitor your physiology to some degree and perform other mundane Internet-related tasks (if you also carry an iPhone). Someday it may allow you to charge your clinic co-pay using the device on your wrist. The hypesters love it. It will surely sell to the Apple faithful and other early adopters. Time will tell whether it turns out to be more commercially successful than the many earlier "wearable" offerings. In any event, it will be yet another distraction that retards interpersonal interactions.


     But none of that matters to me because I don't plan to buy and use an Apple Watch. What does matter to me is the value such a device might bring to the improvement of healthcare. My short answer: Not much.


     In my view the new Watch is not a significant healthcare innovation. Let me explain. By contrast, here are a few potential developments that really would represent a significant healthcare innovation:

  • A neurological device that would mitigate excruciating, intractable pain or tremors for sufferers of chronic disease
  • A product that would decrease OR time by 50% for a common surgical procedure
  • A software product that would greatly ease EHR data entry requirements and increase the actual face time that a physician could spend with each patient
  • A genetic lab test that could identify an optimal drug and dosage regimen to treat a common life-threatening disease
  • A diagnostic database to guide physicians in challenging diagnoses based upon "big data" coupled to a patient's EHR
  • Anything that substantially reduces medical errors or societal healthcare costs

     Don't get me wrong. Incremental advances are fine. They make the medtech world go around. But we should never take our eyes off the prize of major advances in the delivery of care.


     So the Apple Watch is fine for tech savvy gadgeteers. But let's not go nutty extoling its historic healthcare attributes. It does not measure up. 



Silicon Valley is Coming Up Short      

     Tim Mullaney had some not-very-nice things to say about Apple and, more importantly, about Silicon Valley innovation generally. His major point: "Silicon Valley tech" -- what used to be called information technology -- is failing badly at real innovation and its contribution to US economic growth and prosperity. (My rant about healthcare is but one subset of this dilemma.)

Silicon Valley Tech

     I suspect that Mr. Mullaney has overstated the problem somewhat, but I must conceptually agree with him. Much of the tech excitement is much ado about nothing.


     What's your view of "Silicon Valley tech?" Is it really important? Can it really make a dent in the delivery of care?         


The Best Leaders Are Insatiable Learners      

     Jack Derby directed me to an inspiring piece by Bill Taylor in the HBR Blog Network. You should read it, especially if you find yourself becoming stale as the gray hairs proliferate. My favorite quote from the article:


"In these head-spinning times, even more so than when John Gardner offered his timeless advice, the challenge for leaders is not to out-hustle, out-muscle, or out-maneuver the competition. It is to out-think the competition in ways big and small, to develop a unique point of view about the future and get there before anyone else does. The best leaders I've gotten to know aren't just the boldest thinkers; they are the most insatiable learners."


     By the way, Jack Derby is an expert on sales and the selling process, among other things. You should sign up for his blog posts. 



What does Trilogy do? 
     Trilogy Associates facilitates business growth and renewal through commercialization of new products, providing the following services:
  • Opportunity assessment
  • Business planning and enterprise growth strategies
  • New-product conceptualization, commercialization and marketing
  • Market research and competitive assessment
  • Business development and partnering
  • Market and technological due diligence
  • Assessment of the therapeutic and diagnostic potential of novel technologies
  • Design of efficient and effective development strategies for early-stage biomedical products
  • Business and technical writing/publishing

     Inquiries to establish whether and how we might support your business initiatives are always welcome.  Contact us.

Resources from our Archives 
     Check out our Reading Room to view my published articles, presentations and white papers on a variety of topics.
     And, you can examine an archive of my prior newsletters (since February 2007).
Contact Information
Joseph J. Kalinowski, Principal