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End deaths due to medical error: a millionaire's mission

"How do we put an end to the preventable deaths that occur daily inside of hospitals and other health-care facilities?"

This question plagues a lot of people across the medical field. While many work day-in and day-out to reduce deaths due to medical error, Joe Kiani is attempting to take a huge leap forward, by galvanizing medical technology companies to come together and push for open communication. 

Fixing preventable–and lethal–errors

Joe Kiani is the multimillionaire founder of Masimo, a health-care technology company that created an easier and more accurate way to detect oxygen saturation in the blood. Kiani, who lobbied hard to get hospitals to accept his technology and faced difficult odds to become successful, sees one major hurdle that must be overcome in order to begin reducing hospital errors.

His solution is straightforward but difficult to implement. Simply put, he wants all hospital technology and devices to be "open." That is, he wants to open the platforms so that different devices can communicate with each other, providing a more complete picture of the patient's health and circumstances. 

However, while this may seem like an easy solution, Kiani has found it difficult to enact. In particular, major manufacturers are wary of sharing their proprietary information and making their systems open. Some view open platform work as a way to lose their grip on their technology, and suffer losses of potentially millions or billions in revenue. Others look at it in terms of potentially violating a patient's privacy, both a legal and ethical negative.

Kiani, however, is undeterred. He has also enlisted the help of some powerful allies, including Joe Biden and Bill Clinton. 

While encouraging the open flow of information is the ultimate goal, Mr. Kiani is starting smaller, by encouraging companies to sign a pledge agreeing to eventually opening up their platforms. So far, he's had success, but true implementation has not yet been achieved. 

 

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