This past Thursday, February 28th, I was honored to stand before some of the world’s greatest thinkers, industry game-changers, and leaders of innovation in the US Army, Navy, NASA, Ford, General Mills, and Harvard Medical School to deliver a lecture at the MIT Innovation Lab at the Sloan School of Management.
Chaired by renowned economist and MIT professor, Dr. Eric von Hippel, the two-day MIT Innovation Lab Workshop concentrated on what the future of innovation looks like and the practices that will help support, and diffuse, user and field-based innovation. Spanning from medicine to military, and everything in between – no stone was left unturned as we analyzed what works, what doesn’t, and the barriers that stand between conceptually great ideas, and implementing and supporting changes that make a difference.
In his lectures and published work, Dr. von Hippel, elucidates the concept of “Market Failure”, ie: the failure of innovations to diffuse from discoverers. I can think of no greater example than the thousands of physician-made discoveries essentially left on the shelf, unpublished, unnoticed, and neglected to be diffused from discoverers (physicians) to adopters (primarily patients).
“Grassroots – Driven Diffusion of Field Discoveries: An Opportune Model for Sustainable Healthcare”
In my presentation, “Grassroots – Driven Diffusion of Field Discoveries: An Opportune Model for Sustainable Healthcare”, I illustrated the actions that MedInsight is taking to impactfully address Market Failure on a large scale. By diffusing information directly to patients, we have created a reverse-engineered diffusion paradigm that delivers unparalleled health benefits to patients and enormous savings to the healthcare system.
A prime example of this diffusion is LDNscience, a project of MedInsight. By catalyzing an unparalleled consumer-driven effort to repurpose the drug naltrexone in low dose (LDN) for the treatment of autoimmune and chronic disorders; myself and LDNscience, have helped transform this discovery which lay in obscurity for 20 years, through a pioneering clinical trial at Penn State University in 2002, to its current status: in use and helping over 500,000 patients worldwide.
Our efforts of diffusing information directly to consumers and physicians through LDNscience has created a grassroots movement with unparalleled results.
The numbers below tell an amazing story:
Perhaps most impressive is that the entirety of the resulting research, costing tens of millions of dollars, as well as the diffusion efforts have been completely funded by patients or non-profit organizations, not a single cent of funding came from the pharmaceutical industry.
Needless to say, this caught the audience’s attention at MIT. The statistics are staggering. For every $2 per patient that we, as a non-profit, spend on diffusion, we deliver an ANNUAL savings of $11,000 to the healthcare system and economy, through reduced hospitalization and disability days. Translating the healthcare savings of LDN to the entire LDN userbase means upwards of $5.5 Billion is being saved globally, and that’s prior to even considering the reduced spending on medication which takes the savings to unfathomable levels.
As you can imagine, I was delighted with the resident experts’ acknowledgment of the impact of our novel patient-driven diffusion paradigm, and the interest expressed by leading participants to assist in expanding our efforts.
As I stated in the conclusion of my presentation, “Catalyzing patient-driven diffusion of field discoveries CAN deliver unparalleled health and cost benefits but we need collaborative efforts to make it happen“. I happily welcome all who are interested, able, and willing to join us in our journey, modeling and delivering, sustainable healthcare for the future.