Bill Gates and Steve Jobs agreed on little

But both agreed that healthcare was ripe for disruption. That is still true, but the pace is slower than we envisioned a decade ago.

One reason is the high cost of certification. Consumer-grade equipment produces interesting data for casual self-analysis. Producing data to be used in medical diagnoses requires greater confidence in the accuracy of the data and the consistency of the devices used to produce it. In the case of robotics, makers have to demonstrate in clinical trials that the equipment is safer and produces tangibly better outcomes.

Another reason for the slow pace of disruption is maintaining the confidentiality of patient data. Device makers collect and store patient data, but need mechanisms authorize and interface with medical providers on behalf of the patients. Extending the value chain requires complex protocols and interfaces, while there is little incentive for any single party to develop them.

These are some random musings on research I performed a few years ago. If I have overlooked any recent developments, please feel free to leave feedback.

A robotic revolution in healthcare – BBC News