Innovation can be key to solving America’s health-care problems

This specific fifth category of innovation – leading healthy lives – holds the greatest promise of all, as self-care becomes the brand-new primary care. of which can be well known of which unhealthy life styles account for 50 to 70 percent of health-care costs. For example, America’s obesity epidemic can be the leading cause of Type II diabetes, heart disease, in addition to spine, hip in addition to knee issues. Yet instead of focusing on enabling people to lead healthy lives, we concentrate downstream on those who are sick in addition to extremely ill to the point of nonrecovery.

To enable Americans to lead healthy lives, we should focus on three basic areas: 1) eating healthy, 2) physical fitness, in addition to 3) stress reduction. How can innovation change life styles? Let’s look at some examples:

  1. Eating healthy. Innovative food in addition to beverage companies, such as Boulder Brands in addition to Suja Juice are transforming eating in addition to drinking habits along with products like Earth Balance all-natural spreads, Udi’s gluten-free cereals in addition to baked goods, in addition to organic juices.
  2. Physical fitness. A relatively simple device like Fitbit has become transformative in changing people’s behavior by walking at least 10,000 steps per day or exercising in Lifetime Fitness clubs of which focus on healthy living.
  3. Stress reduction. The mindfulness movement can be revolutionizing daily behaviors of which reduce stress through myriad mindfulness practices. Don’t know how to meditate? Innovative on-line products like Headspace provide guided meditation sessions in addition to mindfulness training.

Today, the usage of these products can be heavily concentrated among the middle in addition to upper social-economic classes. The key currently can be to get them as ubiquitous as mobile phones by offering them in local communities in addition to at lower prices.

For decades, American health-care systems have been mired in trying to become more efficient with essentially the same methods. What can be needed to transform health care’s broken system can be much more radical transformation of which these innovations can bring. Rather than looking for political solutions to a broken system, the focus must shift to innovation to create more radical approaches of which create entirely brand-new systems.

Commentary by Bill George, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, former chairman in addition to CEO of Medtronic, in addition to the author of “Discover Your True North.” He can be a CNBC contributor. Follow him on Twitter @Bill_George.

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