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Digital Health: A New Haven For Physicians

Living in the Bay Area, we are surrounded by innovation. On a daily basis, I come into contact with other health care technology companies that surprise and awe me by their progressive and creative approaches to problems I didn't even know existed. So it's no surprise that physicians have also begun to take notice.

A recent KQED Science article researched the rising trend of physicians in the Bay Area leaving medicine to work for innovative digital health startups. Better than anyone, perhaps, they understand the many disconnects and challenges related to providing clinical care, and therefore have an equally unique insight into possible solutions. Some physicians feel frustrated by their lack of ability to effect change at a systematic and preventative level in the clinical setting, while others feel that the lack of jobs and decreasing compensation are pushing them out of their industry and towards other opportunities. “Tech culture is very appealing when juxtaposed against the hierarchy and myriad hoops to be jumped through in clinical medicine,” explains Rebecca Coelius, Director of Health at Code for America.

With many medical students exposed to the entrepreneurial side of health care at top schools like UCSF and Stanford throughout their time there, it is unsurprising that many are heading straight for digital health companies instead of applying to residencies. Amanda Angelotti recalls her time at UCSF medical school: “I was supposed to be focused on the patient's vital signs and presenting a summary, but I was consumed with thoughts about how to improve the process of rounds. I kept asking myself, ‘How could we change things to involve the patient more?'”

Amanda's question particularly resonates with me, as I find that it’s a question I've asked myself countless times over the past few years. Having spent quite a bit of time in hospitals with my sister, I'm constantly struck by how little she was involved in her care and how hard it has been to get complete care for her as we bounce between specialists. It's these thoughts that keep me up at night, and get me out of bed in the morning, excited and motivated to tackle the challenges that I think the digital health world is uniquely positioned to solve.

Source: KQED Science