BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--When Harvard Business Professor Clayton Christensen beat a heart attack, cancer and a stroke in three years, his battle with life and death didn’t sideline him for long – it informed his master plan to fix the health care system.
In the cover story of the latest issue of Forbes, reporter David Whelan interviewed this singular business figure – who is now back to a full schedule of speaking, teaching and writing – about his powerful survival story. Through Christensen’s own oral history and the reminiscences of his family, friends and doctors, this memorable article (and associated online videos and photo galleries) shows how Christensen gained incredible insight from his recent experiences battling three grave illnesses about how to make health care more affordable and accessible.
Christensen is one of the world’s most influential business theorists, renowned for his theory of “disruptive innovation,” which describes how products and services create entirely new markets. Later, in his award-winning book, “The Innovator’s Prescription” (2009), he exposed the many ways the broken health care system can be disrupted.
Christensen’s recent health ordeals backed up his ideas about how to innovate within the health care system in a far more personal way than any of his earlier research. His diabetes, which he’s had since age 30, showed him how disruptive innovation can help the health care system move out of the costly hospital and medical office setting. His heart attack reinforced his belief in disruptive innovation as the path to health care innovation, because he was saved by a “stent,” a once-imperfect technology that eventually transformed open heart surgery. The aftermath of his heart attack and his stroke recovery was more evidence of how disruption can push care closer and closer to patients, as integrated systems like Kaiser Permanente do best.
Whelan, the reporter, ends the postscript of the cover story by calling for Christensen’s ideas for how to bring innovation to the health care industry to get a wider hearing. Please help spread the word by sharing your reactions and own experiences in the comments section of the online version of the magazine article.