Not Just Any Joe Smith

DrRich | December 3rd, 2010 - 10:28 am

DrRich is delighted to note that a very good and longtime friend and former colleague has been named as one of the HealthLeaders 20 for 2010 – that is, as one of 20 people, chosen by HealthLeaders Media, who are changing healthcare for the better.

DrRich has known this man for nearly two decades, and from the very beginning he has insisted his real name is Joe Smith. So let’s go with that.

Joe’s recognition by HealthLeaders is very well deserved. Joe is chief medical and science officer of the West Wireless Health Institute in San Diego, a non-profit institution whose mission is to bring wireless technologies to the patient, technologies to diagnose, monitor and treat health conditions in the patient’s own home. Joe is uniquely qualified for this role, having earned a PhD in medical engineering and medical physics, an MD from Harvard (a place DrRich has never even been allowed to see), and having spent years practicing medicine as a (particularly well known) cardiac electrophysiologist. (Electrophysiology, as regular readers will know, is widely recognized as the geekiest of medical specialties.)

For what it’s worth, DrRich considers Joe to be one of the most honest, most ethical physicians he has ever known, one who will always place the welfare of patients ahead of his own treasure and his own career. DrRich has seen him do it.

Significantly, one of Joe’s chief goals at West Wireless is to use advanced biosensors, attached to wireless communication, to lower the cost of healthcare. This can be done in at least two ways. First, by using wireless healthcare to keep patients healthy longer, and thus reduce hospitalizations and other expensive healthcare services; and second, by making at least some of these technologies available as consumer products, used by patients as they see fit for their own benefit, so they become part of the general economy (like toothbrushes and televisions).

DrRich is particularly pleased that Joe’s efforts are being recognized as worthy, since DrRich himself has devoted much of his professional effort to biosensors and wireless healthcare for the past 10 years.  Indeed, at one point he had the pleasure of working together with Joe Smith in this area.

The Top 20 healthcare leaders to which Joe has been named is an eclectic group. It includes John Goodman, another of DrRich’s heroes, as well as a couple of people readers of this blog would recognize as individuals whom DrRich would not consider as “changing healthcare for the better.”

In any case, please go read the HealthLeaders write-up of Joe Smith and his cutting-edge work at West Wireless. Congratulations, Joe!

One Response to “Not Just Any Joe Smith”

  1. Liz says:

    DrRich, congratulations to your friend, and congratulations to, well, some of the other winners. It is definitely an eclectic group, where some desperately hope that others will not be allowed to change healthcare.

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