3 Takeaways From the “Eds and Meds” Talk at ThinkFest

Hoping for more technology, less interference from City Hall.


Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, Dr. Stephen Altschuler, and Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel.

Dr. Stephen K. Klasko, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Dr. Stephen Altschuler, CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, were just interviewed on the ThinkFest Main Stage by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Head of the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Three takeaways on the future of medicine in Philadelphia:

• IT WILL BE MORE TECH-DRIVEN: “In all likelihood, the majority of care the average patient can get will be on their iPhone. This will become the major vehicle of health care for the majority of the population,” Altschuler said.

CHOP has relationships with hospitals in New Jersey and Abu Dhabi, he said, thanks to that technology. “The business models aren’t always there, but sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and the business models will work out.”

THERE WILL BE FEWER HOSPITALS AS A RESULT, BOTH IN PHILLY AND NATIONALLY: “”There’s going to be change,” Altschuler said. “The question is. Will there be services that you can repurpose these buildings and repurpose their people to provide different services in health care. ”

Klasko added: “The new math is in innovation. The new math is in philanthropy. And if you look, that’s where Jefferson is investing.”

ON ADVICE TO THE NEXT MAYOR: “Leave us alone,” Altschuler said. “We’re eager to work with the city. Quite honestly, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. We want to do what’s right for the city of Philadelphia, but sometimes people get in the way in inappropriate ways.”

Klasko added: “Make it easy. That’s what entrepreneurs do, is make it easy to do things. They should make it easier for Steve and I to come together and do things.”

Altschuler added that his school will be investing $2 billion in Philadelphia in coming years. “That’s going to transform the city,” he said. “Help us.”

Check out all of our coverage from ThinkFest 2014.