Dr. Peter Weiss, MD: The Innovation Interview

Dr. Peter Weiss, MD, F.A.C.O.G., Co-Founder of the Rodeo Drive Women’s Health Center shares his thoughts and insights on innovation, technology and the future of Health Care.

Dr. Peter Weiss graduated with honors in Gynecology from the University of Michigan school of Medicine. He has become a nationally known figure in women’s health, speaking in numerous lectures to both physicians and laymen alike. His topics of expertise have included hormone replacement therapies, stem cell treatments, advanced treatments for uterine fibroids and high risk pregnancies to name just a few. Dr. Weiss has been seen and heard on many national television and radio talk shows. He has also been quoted in many magazine publications.

As an Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA School of Medicine, Dr. Weiss has been involved with teaching medical students and resident physicians. An attending physician at Cedars Sinai Medical center for the past 20 years has afforded Dr. Weiss a unique perspective on the changes involving health care today. He has been counsel to many legislative thought leaders on both sides of the isle in advancing women’s health care issues. He has also co-authored several recent papers on bioterrorism and health care.

Dr. Weiss is a former National Health Care Adviser to Senator John McCain’s Presidential Campaign in 2008.

How do you define innovation and what does it mean to you?

I would define innovation as thinking in a new and decisive way. Innovation could be simply improving an old technique or as original as inventing a new surgical instrument.

The simpler the solution, the greater chance there is mass adoption and success of the product or service.

What industry needs to embrace innovation and take more risks?

Health Care services, not big pharma, but the actual service of health care which is hands-on patient care. As health care evolves we need to ensure that we do not lose sight of the patient’s needs.

When a patient requires hospitalization or they need to check in for a procedure, we must make sure that the hospital experience is comfortable for the patient and their family. The hospital should be a calm environment with clean, inviting areas for patients and families to sit while they wait.

The greatest innovation that a hospital could implement is to make an individual’s stay more comfortable with less friction points to ensure a quality experience. Hospitals should look to the hospitality industry and luxury hotel brands to learn best practices on how to ensure a wonderful stay.

What is the best piece of advice that you have been given and received?

Always look at every opportunity you are presented with carefully. Windows of opportunity only stay open for a short while. Do not be afraid to look inside.

What is your greatest achievement and why?

My children. Being able to watch them grow and interact with the outside world has truly been a blessing.

Newspapers and Books: Digital or Physical?

Physical. There is something to touch, feel and smell. Just like a good old comfortable couch.

What is the future of healthcare in America?

Not promising as the future of medicine in America is a computer algorithm that will decide the diagnosis and treatment plan for a patient rather than a professional Doctor. Health Care will suffer as Doctors will not be able to spend the proper amount of time with their patients to build meaningful relationships of trust.

80% Americans will be fine under the new bell shaped Health Care curve, it is the 10% on either side of the curve that will suffer.

Why did you decide to go to Nepal and setup safe birthing centers?

To get back to where medicine and real hands-on care has a life and death impact. It is where a Doctor looks into a patient’s eyes and does what actually matters.

There are No Computers, No Emergency Rooms, No Affordable Health Care Laws and No Government Agency telling me what I can say, or do. There are zero mandates that I must follow besides taking care of the patient. This is the real practice of medicine.

As the wearable technology market expands and companies such as Apple move into the health and wellness sectors, how will Physicians change their business models to adapt to new technologies?

The future will not require patients to actually go to see a Doctor in his or her office. A patient will be able to get a full physical from the comfort of their own home. BP, Vital signs, even EKG’s will be able to be obtained from wearables.

Most medical information will be provided by super medical computers. The role of the Physician will hopefully revert back to counsel and advice. The Physician will be tasked with determining how to best interpret the information he or she receives. Physicians will become the “translators” of health information.

Last year Dr. Christopher Kaeding, a surgeon at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center successfully performed surgery wearing Google Glass and streamed it to colleagues and medical students. Based on Dr. Kaeding’s success, how do you envision Google Glass in the medical field evolving and what potential does Google Glass have for Doctors?

I find this exciting. Google Glass will allow many students and fellow Physicians as well as patients to see POV surgeries. This will be mostly educational for the students but can be a great teaching tool for third world countries and for surgeons learning a particular procedure.

How do you envision healthcare technology evolving over the next five years and what impact will it have on patients?

As I mentioned earlier, the future is now, it may take longer than 5 years, but in 25 years people will be looking back and think how arcane medicine was. To paraphrase Pogo, “We have met the enemy of success, and he is us”.