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Carroll School of Management

John Stratton

President, Verizon Enterprise Solutions

Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston 

October 24, 2012

TAKEAWAY: Technology and Health Care

One of Lowell’s [McAdams] signature initiatives is to find how we might take these extraordinary technologies and put them to use to solve some of society’s most pressing concerns. And certainly there is no greater concern that we’ve seen than the dilemma of providing high-quality health care in an affordable way. What we know is, today, in the United States alone, this industry spends about a trillion-three, and rising at a very, very rapid rate. As we look out towards the end of this decade, the cost of chronic disease management alone will be $2.2 trillion in the United States. That number surpasses the entire gross domestic product of the United Kingdom. That number is larger than the entire economy of France. It is clearly unsustainable.

And yet we do believe that by applying technologies in partnership with the key players in the health care profession, that we can make meaningful progress in improving patient outcomes and providing, particularly in the area of chronic disease management, continuous care. And I’d ask you to think again about machine-to-machine, the ability for someone to have a continuous flow of information back to their primary care physician and to their support network, their loved ones, about how well they’re doing, maintaining compliance with the course of treatment that’s been prescribed, maintaining their glucose levels if they’re a diabetic within a particular range. Most of the cost, a majority of the cost in health care that we see, comes at a point of catastrophic care. It comes when individuals, patients, have to go back to a hospital to receive aggressive care—that’s where the cost really happens.

So how can that be avoided? So you have a cost value here to allow for sustainability of an industry, but [it is] as important as the quality of life of those individuals who can avoid that catastrophic outcome. So this for us is important on many levels. Certainly we hope that this will become an important business for us and will reward our shareowners for their investment in our company. But also, for us, as we think about what we call shared success, a chance for us to again improve the societies in which we have the privilege to operate. So for us, this one is very personal.