Mark Cuban puts forth his views on the US healthcare industry
This weekend, US billionaire Mark Cuban has put forth his views on the country’s healthcare system and new ways in which it can be made universal for all, increased staffing numbers and the continual delivery of exceptional, patient centered care.
In a series of tweets, Cuban has stated: "Dear politicians. Let me ask a question. If every person in our country had health insurance, would we be any healthier?”
Cuban is clearly in favour of a universal, state-funded system, which isn’t dependent on private health insurance policies. At present, such policies create inequality and surging healthcare costs. "No chance a system where you give an ins (insurance) comp $, then beg them to spend it among limited options is the way to optimize our healthcare," he adds.
He explains that by removing insurance premiums, overall healthcare costs would drop by over 50% for most services. Consequently, he then added he would “invest federal funding to double medical school capacity and offer needs based grants to double medical students to 40k.
Although he claims that a single payer system would not be the solution for America, Cuban’s growing interest in the healthcare industry is seen with the number of investments he has made within the industry. From investing in medical imaging start-up company Genetesis, a genetic testing program (Biomeme), cervical cancer screening tool (MobileODT) and lung cancer analytics company (Matrix Analytics), Cuban, like many technology investors, are investing in new healthcare companies and technologies which will help further eradicate diseases and tap into a somewhat lucrative market.
Believing healthcare to be a right, and not a privilege (a question posed to a former Miss USA candidate, where her answer provoked widespread debate), Cuban has previously stated that “If there’s a legitimate way to modify the Constitution, there should be an amendment to the Constitution for healthcare for chronic illnesses and serious injury. We all play the genetic lottery.”
“I think all of the talk about Trumpcare vs. Obamacare really just avoids the ultimate question, which is, is healthcare a right or not?”
This question in itself has the US government facing the views of the American people, which remains somewhat divided. With many stating that they agree with Cuban, others have stated that to claim healthcare to be a right, medical professionals would be forced to go against their beliefs in order to help care for others. It is a complex issue in which President Trump is attempting to work towards solving, but has yet to reach a solution within government.
Zoom enters the healthcare market - a timeline
Since the pandemic began Zoom has become an integral part of daily life for people working from home, as well as a vital tool for families and friends to communicate. However it's also been eyeing up the healthcare space since 2017, and following the boom in telehealth the company has been rolling out additional services. Here we chart Zoom's move into healthcare.
2011 - 2013
Zoom is founded in San Jose, California, by Eric Yuan, formerly of Cisco. He got the idea to create a video calling platform from his visits to his girlfriend while he was a student, which would take 10 hours by train.
A beta version is released in 2012, which can host up to 15 participants. In 2013 this rises to 25. By mid-2013, Zoom has 1 million users.
2014 - 2017
Zoom attracts investors, including Sequoia Capital, Emergence and Horizon Ventures. By January 2017, Zoom has a series D funding worth $100 million.
2017 - 2019
Zoom for Telehealth launches, including an integration with EHR system Epic. It has cloud-based video, audio, and content sharing features, a "waiting room" for patients, and can easily be integrated into healthcare provider's workflows.
In 2019 Zoom goes public, with its IPO rising 72% in one day.
As a result of the pandemic, Zoom gains 2.2 million new users, more than in the whole of 2019. On the 23rd of March alone - the day the UK lockdown was announced - the platform was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world.
Share prices rise to around $150, and founder and chief executive Eric Yuan becomes one of the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $7.9 billion.
Early security issues are addressed by encrypting data with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). By now the the platform allows 99 people to be on a call simultaneously
New features launch, including Zoom Home and Zoom for Chats. Throughout the year the platform is used to replace most kinds of real life events: work meetings, online classrooms, church services and social events.
Renamed Zoom for Healthcare, users can share secured video, audio, and content through desktops, mobile phones, and conference devices. As well as Epic, it can be integrated with Strmr, IntakeQ, and Practice Better.
It can also be used with diagnostic cameras and other point-of-care devices, including digital stethoscopes.
In an interview with Korea Biomedical Review, Zoom Global Healthcare Lead Ron Emerson said: "Our service is not simply a virtual care and telemedicine platform but a multi-purpose platform that can satisfy the needs of healthcare institutions."
"It can be used for administrative tasks, including telemedicine, medical team meetings, recruitment, medical education, employee training, and disease prevention. Analysing electronic records managed by Zoom could provide meaningful insights into patient care."
Phoenix Children's Hospital, Belfast's Hospital Services Limited, Butler Health Services and the global Project ECHO are among Zoom for Healthcare's current customers.