Healthcare technology is not software

Healthcare technology, and the biotechnology world in general, doesn’t quite work the same way as software.  First, it has to deal with the messy analog world of biology: from proteins and cells to tissues and organs, always a complicated proposition at the best of times.  Second: the stakes are higher: the costs of getting it wrong go beyond a badly designed user interface, or an app that keeps crashing, they can be matters of life and death.  My Amber Biology colleague, Gordon Webster, has a good summary over on the Digital Biologist, of the recent issues at the troubled blood test company, Theranos.

It seems to me that at least of some of the hype that can arise in both software and healthcare sectors is a result of the way investors, the media and even peers unwittingly buy into certain “myths of innovation”, a subject I recently blogged about.  One particular “myth” is that innovation is always ultimately the product of a “solitary lone genius”.  In the case of startups this translates to a single founder being elevated to an extremely high status and consequent oversized expectations can ratchet up the pressure to produce results at any cost.

Read more at The Digital Biologist

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