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How Do We Create Patient Entrepreneurs?


Patients are getting tired of waiting for someone to meet their needs and the needs of their families.

Young Woman Thinking, Practice Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Patients are getting tired of waiting for someone to meet their needs and the needs of their families. Tech-savvy parents are taking things into their own hands. In addition to using 3-D printing to create their own prostheses, they are also participating in black market eCare, i.e., using non-HIPAA-compliant platforms to communicate with their doctors because no one has created an inexpensive, easy to use, cheap device that they can use on their mobile device. Some have created biotech companies to find a cure for their child's disease.

Patients are fed up and not going to take it anymore. There are perils to DIY medicine, but let's face it, many, many patients are doing things and taking medicines unbeknownst to their doctors.

For too long, the innovation supply chain has ignored doctors and patients. All that is now changing, I believe, for the better. To further stimulate patient entrepreneurship, how about:

1. Patient entrepreneurship bootcamps or mini-business schools.

2. Patient academies to raise their health and insurance information IQs.

3. Biomedical entrepreneurship topics introduced into K-12 entrepreneurship education courses.

4. Rapid prototyping camp for kids.

5. Crowdfunding classes for patient entrepreneurs.

6. Appointing patients to your advisory board.

7. Physician-patient discovery and development sessions.

8. Free patient advisory space in innovation districts and work sharing desks.

9. Job boards for tech savvy parents looking to work with medtech and digital health startups.

10. Patient “Entrepreneur of the Year” awards.

Just like we should encourage physician entrepreneurship, we should do the same for patient entrepreneurs. After all, they are the most motivated people in the ecosystem and have the most to gain. We should stop ignoring them.

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