An Open Letter To Health Entrepreneurs

Jae Won Joh | Rock Health | June 27, 2013

Dear health entrepreneurs,

Throughout my journey in medicine, I’ve been asked countless times why healthcare moves so slowly. Many of the same technological challenges have existed for years, if not decades, and despite numerous attempts to invade/disrupt/revolutionize the healthcare space, these efforts have altogether been more amusing than fruitful. Despite having so much bait around, most clinicians just don’t bite.

Regulation and funding issues aside, this apparent apathy when it comes to novel health products is at least in part due to two fundamental differences between how you and I think. If we’re going to work together, it’s about time we acknowledge that these differences exist, establish why, and figure out how to deal with them.

First, my threshold for allowing error is insanely high. My job doesn’t give me the luxury of beta testing or iterating. When your work is faulty, your site might go down, customers might get angry, you might lose money. When my work is faulty, people die. [...]