Disruptive Innovation: Success Breeds Longevity

Disruptive Innovations in Health Care

Disruptive innovations in health care are often the drivers of new technologies and new treatments that enhance and build upon old modalities. The birth of osteopathic medicine in the 1870s can be seen as a “disruptive innovation” in its revolutionary approach to medical treatment.

Trained as a physician as well as in farming, the founder of osteopathic medicine, A.T. Still, MD, DO, saw a correlation between growing health and growing crops. He proposed that the human body has much in common with a machine, one which ought to function well if it is mechanically sound. His manipulative therapies, linking structure and function within the human body, were unlike anything being practiced at the time.  And they were disruptive in that they worked, and more people became interested in that new form of patient care called osteopathic medicine.

Given this history, it is no surprise that the American Osteopathic Association still supports “disruptions” that lead to better care, better treatments, and better quality.  Disruptions like the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), a revolutionary model for care delivery that places the physician and patient at the center of team-based medical care. The medical home aligns with other new delivery models, like accountable care organizations (ACO). Aiming to help physicians provide quality care for patients while keeping costs down, PCMHs and ACOs are made up of coordinated health care professionals who provide medical care for a group of patients. They are revolutionary in that each PCMH or ACO is held accountable for improving health outcomes while reducing the rate of growth in health care spending.

We also encourage our members to get out and do their part to drive innovation, and we support the PhRMA Annual Meeting for advancing the same goal. Our annual DO Day on Capitol Hill brings more than 1,000 members of the osteopathic medical profession to Washington, D.C., where they meet with their legislators and staff to advocate our health policy priorities.

Whatever you do, make sure your impact is disruptive, innovative, and heard.  


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