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Social scientist Eric Dishman is one of this century’s key innovators in health care reform and independent living. As part of his work for Intel, Dishman drives initiatives and services in twelve countries in an effort to create a sustainable system of health care that will be more cost effective, efficient, and personable. Pioneering the application of anthropology, ethnography, and other social sciences to the design and development of new technologies, he aims to see 50% of health care services taking place in the home by 2020.
As a college sophomore Dishman was diagnosed with a rare kidney disorder that doctors claimed would most likely take his life within 2 to 3 years, even if he underwent all possible treatments. Inspired by a friend he met in a hospital waiting room who told him that his doctors were only examining one part of him instead of him as a whole person, Dishman began to research his diagnosis, take control of his health, and move on with his life.
Dishman founded Intel’s first Health Research and Innovation Lab in 1999 and in 2005 was a founding member of Intel’s Digital Health Group, which recently formed a joint venture with GE called Care Innovations. He was named “12 People Who Are Changing Your Retirement” by The Wall Street Journal and is a veteran speaker on his work, having given several TED talks and presentations at the Consumer Electronics Show, the White House Conference on Aging, and the World Health Organization. He has published dozens of articles on personal health technologies and co-authored many government reports on health information technologies and reform.
Eric Dishman does health care research for Intel — studying how new technology can solve big problems in the system for the sick, the aging and, well, all of us.
Eric Dishman is an Intel Fellow and general manager of Intel’s Health Strategy & Solutions Group. He founded the product research and innovation team responsible for driving Intel’s worldwide healthcare research, new product innovation, strategic planning, and health policy and standards activities.
Dishman is recognized globally for driving healthcare reform through home and community-based technologies and services, with a focus on enabling independent living for seniors. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post and Businessweek, and The Wall Street Journal named him one of “12 People Who Are Changing Your Retirement.” He has delivered keynotes on independent living for events such as the annual Consumer Electronics Show, the IAHSA International Conference and the National Governors Association. He has published numerous articles on independent living technologies and co-authored government reports on health information technologies and health reform.
He has co-founded organizations devoted to advancing independent living, including the Technology Research for Independent Living Centre, the Center for Aging Services Technologies, the Everyday Technologies for Alzheimer’s Care program, and the Oregon Center for Aging & Technology.
What others say
“All of health care is based on one idea from the 1850s,” says social scientist Eric Dishman, Intel’s director of health innovation. “That it has to be delivered in a face-to-face setting.” His research on aging is behind evolving systems to provide more effective home care. His goal is to enable 50% of care in the U.S. to be delivered in the home by 2020.” — Fast Company
Eric Dishman makes the case for the need to shift from the current healthcare system to a more personalized model in which patients incorporate technology and telemedicine to play a greater active role in their own health and treatments.
Drawing on his own experience decades ago as a college student who was diagnosed as terminally ill, he remarks:
“These professionals [doctors] were miracle workers, but they’re working in a flawed defective system that’s set up the wrong way. It’s dependent on hospitals and clinics for our every care need. It’s dependent on specialists who just look at parts of us. It’s dependent on guesswork and diagnoses and drug cocktails until something either works or you die. And it’s dependent on passive patients who just take it and don’t ask any questions.”
Eric Dishman argues that in order to transform healthcare we need to transform ourselves, pointing out that technology is only as capable as the people implementing it.
Quote: “The transformation that I had to do to make the health care system do to be ready for a proactive patient like me taught me that it is not ready for somebody coming in with their own devices, their own data, their own plans and goals. Technology is a wonderful thing, but if we don’t transform ourselves, the roles and responsibilities that we play as patients and caregivers and clinicians, until we’re ready to actually make those fundamental transformations no technology in the world no matter how wonderful is going to solve these problems.”
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