In this video, Esther Dyson lays out the challenges to create a culture of preventative health. Learn how global sickening, a lack of role models, and the need for behavioral change stand in the way of rethinking health.
- Healthcare, it's great. Helping people recover their health, or at least deal with their bad health is a useful thing, but health itself right now is limited mostly to what they call a worried well, rich people who wanna stay healthy, and have the time and the foresight and the financial capability to think ahead. What I want to do is create a market for health for everyone, because long run, society's much better off if we invest in this asset of health and we don't need to pay for these healthcare costs, which are basically what happens when you lose your health, when you rent your health and it disappears.
Why don't we do that? Nobody's said to me, "Ester, you're wrong." They've just sort of said, "Yeah, that's really nice. "Let us know when you've done it," or whatever. There a bunch of reasons we don't do it. First of all, I call it global sickening. It's like global warming. It's gonna happen some day, and it's really bad, but it's no one in particular's responsibility, so we expect other people to deal with it, and the people who might do it are not gonna be necessarily the direct beneficiaries.
So there's a discontinuity, both in time, and in responsibility, so that very few exceptions, nobody's really gotten around to it. And at the same time, even though people quote know it's true ... You know if you prevent diabetes people are better off. Nobody's really done it at scale. There's no role models to inspire people. There's not, "Oh yeah, those guys have done that, "we should do it too." Another obstacle obviously is you're messing with people.
You're trying to change the environment so that it's easier to be healthy, but ultimately you are asking them to behave differently. What we're trying to do is help people understand they're being manipulated by advertising and food marketers who make stuff taste good, and whether they mean to or not, online services that make them stay up late and give them the tools to manipulate themselves. We don't want to manipulate them to do good stuff, we want them to understand why it's good and to feel empowered, and to understand that indeed they are manipulating themselves.
Just the way they might study for a test, they're going to invest in their own health for the future. But we're going to make it so that even poor people, people with no time, that's it possible for them to do this too.