Dr. Jack Stockert had one of those a-ha moments while jogging one day. As he jogged, he pushed his daughter in her stroller with his dog running behind; Stockert neared a busy four-lane road with no traffic light. To his astonishment, and totally uncharacteristically, a vehicle slowed to a stop as he neared the street, enabling Stockert to cross promptly and safely. Stockert discovered the “courteous driver” was one of Google’s self-driving cars. Stockert immediately recognized the knowledge transfer that must occur among the fleet of Google vehicles, a kind of ‘collective intelligence’. “It stopped as if it had seen me a thousand times before and knew my intent,” he realized.

As Managing Director of Health 2047, Dr. Stockert is one of a group of “visionary problem-solvers” with a goal “to co-create a highly functional, information-driven, value-based and market-driven healthcare system that delivers quality, connectivity, health and productivity outcomes”.

“to co-create a highly functional, information-driven, value-based and market-driven healthcare system that delivers quality, connectivity, health and productivity outcomes”

With the American Medical Association as a founding investor, this multi-disciplined team of innovators has the collective capability to transform healthcare by distributing the latest knowledge and techniques worldwide, for example the use of ‘collective intelligence’ in machine learning, to improve human health and longevity.

Stockert continued to muse, wondering if there was a way to apply this “collective intelligence model” to healthcare by leveraging information technology. Currently, new knowledge is shared the old-fashioned way. Researchers and clinicians develop groundbreaking treatments and write their findings in professional journals. Innovation inefficiently filters out as the articles are read. Stockert’s bold idea is to use technology to distribute knowledge and share insights in real time (in a similar manner to the Google fleet) so that healthcare providers located in even remote areas have immediate access to the latest ideas and techniques.

At this point, creating a business model of collective medical intelligence is just an idea, but every innovation starts with an idea.  When bold leaders such as the Health 2047 team take bold action to change the status quo, self-driving care can become a reality.

Newton watches an apple fall from a tree, and the concept of gravity is born. Archimedes is sitting in his bathtub and Eureka; he recognizes the relationship between volume and density. The essence of innovation is the human ability to make connections between the mundane and the profound. Another manifestation of this ability is the transfer of knowledge from one area to spur progress in another.

Sometimes the most mundane encounter can spark a bold idea.

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