October 13, 2016

Credit: Presidencia de la República Mexicana / Flickr Creative Commons.

Cold season got you down? Well, first some more bad news: healthcare in America is broken. The good news? With a little work and some new ideas, we might be able to fix it. This week on Innovation Hub, we look at four big challenges in health – and how they might be solved.

First up, they say money can’t buy happiness, but it might be able to buy you a few more years of life. A study in the UK showed that someone at the top of the economic ladder enjoys an average of eight more years of healthy life. According to Sir Michael Marmot, author of The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World, this difference is as much about power and control as it is about economic status:

Next, something’s wrong when it’s easier for a homeless person to find their way to a hospital bed than to a permanent home. Becky Kanis Margiotta, leader of the 100,000 Homes Campaign and co-founder of the Billions Institute, providing permanent housing rather than short-term shelter might be the most effective approach to helping people get off the streets:

Then, there’s more scientific and medical studies out there than ever before. But, are they too much of a good thing? John Ioannidis, a professor of health research and policy and Stanford University, talks about how the race for new findings (and the influence of money) can lead to misleading research.

Finally, what happens when doctors talk to their computers more than their patients? When nurses trust the barcode on a pill bottle more than their own instincts? When electronic alerts are so commonplace that healthcare workers only notice them when they don’t show up? Bob Wachter, author of The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age and interim chair of the department of medicine at University of California San Francisco, talks about the challenges the healthcare industry faces as it navigates the digital revolution.

NPR, Bob Wachter, John Ioannidis, Sir Michael Marmot, innovation hub, WGBH, Becky Kanis Margiotta, Kara Miller

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