How Globalization Is Changing Health Care Forever


In the video below, Michael Saylor, CEO and founder of MicroStrategy and author of The Mobile Wave, visits The Motley Fool to discuss tech, business, and social trends as they relate to investors today.

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Michael Saylor: With regard to health care, I think that there's a lot of dynamics there. The most obvious dynamic with regard to anything in the mobile era, is how much material labor, or how much material mass and how much distance and motion is involved in obtaining the value you're trying to obtain?

Take an interesting example -- most people, if they want a blood test, they have to go to a hospital or a clinic or an office. There's a lot of diagnostics...

Up until a while ago, you had to go to a hospital to get a prescription. If a prescription is a piece of paper, I have to pick it up and I have to carry it to a pharmacy, and I have to pick up the drug. At the point that the prescription becomes an SMS message, I don't have to go to the doctor.

If you have a CAT scan or an MRI, someone's got to interpret it. I had an MRI about six weeks ago. It was pretty random, and they sent the x-ray to a doctor in Australia. I just walked into the emergency room late at night. They said, "We're going to check and see if you have a blood clot on your lung," because I just got off a long flight.

They put me through the machine, they took the thing out, and they said, "Well, we're Downstate Virginia and there's no radiologist on duty here, but there's radiologists on duty in Australia because it's during the day there." It went there, it came back in 15 minutes.

I think, as things get more networked like that, you have to ask the question, "Do I move medical services around because it's daylight somewhere?"

Then the more interesting question is, "Why don't I just send that MRI scan to someone in China, where making $10,000 a year would be a lot of money?" Because $10,000 is not enough to live on in the U.S.; if you're a doctor in Manhattan, $500,000 isn't enough to live on.

But at the end of the day, human beings are human beings, and I can speak for them -- I have 600 Chinese engineers -- they're every bit as smart as we are.

If you had a choice between paying $2,000 for a hospital visit to have your radiology reports read by an American citizen that lives in Manhattan, or paying $20 to have your reports read by someone that lives in China or India or anywhere else, or Brazil, where the cost of living might be 20 times cheaper, the average person doesn't give a damn.

Do you really want to pay $2,000 for locally American-serviced medical care? I don't think so.

Maybe another way to say that is, "If you had a choice between giving universal, decent medical care to every American and outsourcing some of the services to Brazil, India and China, or depriving 40% of the population of medical care because it's too expensive, what would you choose?"

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