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May 2018

Mass Customization, Ubiquitous Information, and Improvements to Health Outcomes in the United States

Author Affiliations
  • 1Duke Forge, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • 2Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • 3Verily Life Sciences, South San Francisco, California
JAMA Cardiol. 2018;3(5):365-366. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.5354

How is it possible that, despite staggering growth in spending on health care, the United States ranks in the middle of economically developed countries in health status1 and has now experienced its second consecutive year2 of decreases in life expectancy? Just as vexing, the declines in both relative and absolute status compared with international peers are driven by major differences in health outcomes within the United States that are largely functions of wealth, education, geographic location, and race.3,4 The refractory nature of these challenges suggests that our national health woes are deeply intertwined with what happens outside the clinics and hospitals where these massive expenditures are focused.

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