top of page
  • Matthias Müllenbeck

What if we incentivized Doctors to keep us Healthy instead of paying them only when we're alread

What if we incentivized doctors to keep us healthy instead of paying them only when we're already sick? Matthias Müllenbeck explains how this radical shift from a sick care system to a true health care system could save us from radical shift from a sick care system to a true health care system -- and keep us healthier for longer.

This talk was presented at a TED Institute event given in partnership with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Artificial intelligence-based data analysis and the miniaturization of sensor technologies are already starting to make monitoring of the individual health status possible. Measuring cardiometabolic parameters by devices like this or the detection of circulating tumor DNA in your bloodstream early on after cancer disease onset are only two examples for such monitoring technologies.

Take cancer. One of the biggest problems in certain oncological diseases is that a large number of patients is diagnosed too late to allow them to be cured, although the drugs and treatments that could potentially have cured them are already existing today, if the disease had only been detected earlier. New technologies allow now, based on a few milliliters of blood, to detect the presence of circulating tumor DNA and thus, the presence of cancer, early on in a really convenient manner. The impact that this early-stage detection can have may be dramatic.

The five-year survival rate for non-small cell lung cancer when diagnosed at stage one, which is early, is 49 percent. The same, when diagnosed at stage four, which is late, is below one percent. Being potentially able to prevent a large number of deaths by something as simple as a blood test for circulating tumor DNA could make certain cancer types a manageable disease,as disease onset can be detected earlier and positive treatment outcomes can likely be increased.

In 2012, 50 percent of all Americans had a single chronic disease, resulting in 86 percent of the $3 trillion US health care budget being spent for treating such chronic diseases. Eighty-six percent. If new technologies allow now to reduce this 86 percent, why have health care systems not reacted and changed already?

About the Author

Matthias Müllenbeck

As the Biopharma director for licensing and business development at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Matthias Müllenbeck is responsible for leading strategic partnering initiatives in the field of oncology and immuno-oncology.

Screenshot 2023-11-06 at 13.13.55.png
bottom of page