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A Hospital Without Patients

The cutting edge of health care is tucked off a St. Louis highway exit. And it’s eerily quiet.

There are those who say that even an intensive care unit could, in principle, be brought to a patient’s home. But for now, the future looks like this: Hospitals will keep doing things like deliveries, appendectomies and sewing up the victims of shootings and car wrecks. They’ll also have to care for people with diseases like diabetes, heart failure and cancer when they take bad turns. But in the future, the mission of the hospital will be to keep patients from coming through their doors in the first place.

As the country moves to brake escalating health care costs, hospital systems that want to stay in business will have to follow this heavily software-dependent model, say Moore and others. “One night in the hospital in the U.S. costs $4,600 on average, just for the bed,” said Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and author of several books on the future of medicine. “You can get a lot of data plans and devices for that amount of money.”

Click here to read more: A Hospital Without Patients by Arthur Allen at Politico