Forget Robots As Venture Capitalists Are Moving in Another Direction in Healthcare- Analytics and Algorithms for Profit–A
Posted Mar 09 2012 5:32pm
This is a good article and if you read around the Medical Quack often enough I have been echoing this for about 3 years now but it’s becoming visible now to others as well. If you have read any of my articles on “The Attack of the Killer Algorithms” then you know. All of this is not bad; however there’s always that “other” side with math and analytics and the financial world could not exist as it does today without those algorithms for profit, ask any Quant you might meet.
The concept of code and it’s capabilities is spoken a lot here and this article is right in tune to what I have been saying and relative again to a lot of my other posts and we are talking big data and machine learning. It’s been creeping around in the background for a while now and those that don’t like math have no clue for the most part. It’s math and algorithms.
In here mentioned Caslight health, which is…a bunch of queries and algorithms for healthcare decisions…all the same stuff folks. Now this is where the the VC money comes in as they want to make money, like all of use but have the money to invest to make more money, unlike all of use. In addition, this also makes more data available for sale and this is huge today and an uncapped resource for taxing. Think of it when Walgreens made just under $800 million selling data according to their 2010 SEC forms submitted and just think what everyone else is making out there. Certainly some of the intelligence is used today to make better devices and yes that still gets attention, but not like mining and selling data as you grab a few geeks, get a cloud server and off you go making money for very little overhead.
What this says is where the money’s going and with basing too much of the economy on “algorithms” we don’t much manufacturing done in the US anymore and we need balance. Just in a couple other areas, Hedge Funds and High Frequency traders are growing at a pace faster than Facebook for mining and selling data. As consumers we get this very difficult to read privacy disclosure that says nothing but clouds issues at times and that can allow you to give full access to your data. Speaking of machine learning, see what’s going on with Citicorp and Wall Street below at the link. Does that shake you up? It should.
Efforts in the financial areas like outlined above serves to actually continue the rate of inequality in the United States, it’s a tech war with information and we are getting more flawed data out there today too and like the banks a few years ago, nobody’s being held accountable for it. This is why I said Richard Cordray better know a lot of math and algorithms. If he doesn’t fix this, we are screwed as consumers. Go back and read the above link about IBM Watson going to Citibank if you didn’t read it and all of this might become a little clearer.
Welcome to the world of discrimination by the algorithm….
Again to balance out some of this, why should corporate America make billions in profits with mining and selling data without giving some back and providing a “real” disclosure page on a federal site on what is sold and mined. They do it for everything else like insurance, hospital comparisons, you name it but can we find out who sells our data to who and in what format..nope..no transparency there as it would get in the way of corporate profits and give some real information that consumers want.
So there you have it, VC money going into more analytical algorithms that again roll over and create more data for sale in some areas. I don’t know about you and if you understand math or not but it’s as day to me how this profit structure runs and to a lot of VCs too, so wake up here or sit in denial, your choice as this functionality allows inequality to continue to grow at a pretty rapid pace without some kind of regulation, again I see taxing and licensing as good thing as it would solve a lot Federal Budget problems and all those companies who say they want to give back will be able to, and anyone selling data would be on the list, run it just like a sales tax.
By the way, that federal excise tax I pay to put a tire on my care can go away at any time <hint>. Here’s a great talk about numbers and analytics and how this all needs to be down to earth and accurate or you just may get soaked and shoot some VCs may not know about what types of algorithms they invest in, they just want money. BD
It wasn’t that long ago that money flowed steadily to entrepreneurs who dreamt up whiz-bang medical devices.
Hospitals souped up their surgical suites with robots or high-tech radiation machines for cancer treatment. Cost wasn’t an issue: They just got passed along to insurance companies, who passed them on to employers and patients.
The share of venture dollars flowing to seed and early-stage investments in biotechnology and medical devices has plummeted since 2007, when investors pumped $3.6 billion into 332 deals in which a price was disclosed, according to data compiled for Kaiser Health News by FactSet Research Systems. Overall venture investing declined by nearly one-third as the economic recession set in.
Their solution? Drop the manual coding and create “a software system that learns as it codes and keeps getting better and better. And all of a sudden you can say to the hospital, Look, we’ll charge you 50 or 70 percent of what you’re paying now. You guys save 30 percent. But by the way, we can make great margins and make a terrific business because our costs are so much lower, because we’ve actually used technology rather than just people to attack the problem,” Roberts gushes.
It’s a bit like not getting dessert until you’ve had your vegetables. Maybe this all sounds incredibly simplistic, but venture capitalists say one of the trickiest things about this new world of investing is that their returns, in many cases, hinge on humans changing their behavior. And that’s a lot harder than building a robot.