Vinod Khosla on Health Innovation [Video]

We held our 2nd ever Health Innovation Summit to bring together over 300 innovators, academics, clinicians, and investors to inspire dialogue and action around innovation in healthcare.   And since health is truly a universal concern, we wanted the conversation to include diverse, and dissenting, voices.  It was unsurprising then that at least one speaker’s comments from the Summit sparked a heated debate regarding just how technology, in particular machine learning and artificial intelligence, will transform healthcare as we know it.

Vinod Khosla’s keynote was the subject of much (healthy) debate last week, invoking impassioned responses from all sides, particularly high-profile physicians. You can watch Vinod Khosla’s interview with Thomas Goetz from Health Innovation Summit below:

Some of the most cited responses to Khosla’s keynote:

Dr. Davis Liu on The Healthcare Blog:
Perhaps Khosla’s call to action was simply an entrepreneurial mindset, but simply ignoring those who have chosen a field to improve and save lives and who meet humanity everyday on the front-lines is problematic and dangerous. There are some things that may never be codified or driven into algorthims. Call it a doctor’s experience, intuition, and therapeutic touch and listening. If start-ups can clear the obstacles and restore the timeless doctor-patient relationship and human connection, then perhaps the future of health care is bright after all.

Matt Marshall of Venture Beat:
…the criticism of Khosla’s most recent comments last week is largely knee-jerk in character.  For the most part, the reactions failed to refute Khosla’s main point about the promise of big-data for healthcare… Khosla is simply using hyperbole to get his point across. With the angry reaction, he got the stirring debate he was probably hoping for.

So if there’s any real standoff, it’s hard not to side with Khosla on this one. You’ve got to be an idiot not to see that the system needs serious change.

David Shaywitz on the Forbes Blog:
Like other physicians in the valley (e.g.), I disagree with Khosla’s perspective, or more accurately, I bring a different set of experiences and biases.  Trained as a physician, and working in the medical products industry, it’s perhaps not surprising I view deep experience in healthcare and the complexity of the healthcare system as enormously enabling.  

Eric Topol responded in an email to MedCity News:
We [Topol and Khosla] are completely aligned on the need for radical transformation of medicine via technology–including digital, genomics, imaging… But we differ on whether this will lead to a massive 80% [replacement] of the physician work force. I believe we have no shortage looming, as so many have projected–because of the great innovations that empower consumers with their own precious data, and the new model of patient-physician partnership will evolve.


What do you think? Share your thoughts and reactions below.