To the white house

Tomorrow, Symple goes to Washington DC! Yep, I'm going to represent small businesses working in healthcare technology. We will visit the folks at HHS and the White House.

Before I go, here's a 2 question survey to understand how our community feels about sharing data. We will be talking Precision Medicine during our White House visit, especially an initiative to get one million Americans to donate all of their health data for research. So I wonder...

Would you do it?

Please take a moment to share your TOTALLY ANONYMOUS VOTE HERE.


I'm home.

After 6 months of saying "yes" to every conference invite; after last weekend's workshop on ethics in medicine; and after 24 hours of traveling around DC, I've come to the conclusion that...

The people I have met (doctors, nurses, caregivers, professors, bioethicists, policy analysts, project leaders, startup founders, patient advocates, ambulance techs, researchers, pharmacists, benefits managers, health coaches, foundation staffers) are generally, truly good people. Most chose to work in healthcare because of some personal encounter with illness or injustice.


This industry is awash in group think, resistance to change, turf protection, meaningless (usually big) words, data hoarding, inefficiency, and odd monetization. These forces are nibbling-nibbling-nibbling away at something that was once beautiful, almost holy. 

Medicine begins with a person needing comfort. Medicine continues with the laying on of gentle hands. Medicine dwells at the intersection of vulnerability and compassion. 

But what I'm seeing is too little compassion, and way too many efficiency objectives, risk-abatement strategies and cost controlling measures. While certainly present, greed isn't the primary force sucking the beauty out of medicine either. It seems to be fear...of legal action, of administrative missteps. Or burnout.

So, the next time you talk to your doctor/nurse/benefits manager, maybe you can ask yourself, "How can I help this person help me?" Because it just might be up to you to bring compassion to the conversation. And that makes you a powerful force. 

We will move the needle on this broken system.

natasha gajewski