Change never comes from inside. Change always comes from outside. In the next decade, we will see a much-needed change in the medical space.

The system is not working so well. The costs are sky-rocketing. Insurance is far from pro-active but instead defensive. When you get sick it is there although not without a major headache getting them to support your needs. What if they flipped the model and made sure that you had to go to your annual check-up and get as much data as possible to keep you healthy. That the insurance company would support the recommendations made from the health provider such as exercise classes, acupuncture, talking to a nutritionist. What a shift that would be.

Ezra’s mission is to detect cancer early. They provide a full-body MRI that looks at everything from your brain to each organ in your body including your bones. MRIs do not use radiation like x-rays and get a better view of the body’s internal structures.

It is not inexpensive. The cost is $1800 and it is not covered by insurance. It takes about an hour fifteen. The results come two days later.

I did it this week and now I have a baseline. It is pretty amazing that I know what is happening inside of my body. Certainly, the hope is that the cost will come down as more people do it but wouldn’t it be amazing if every insurance company paid for people to have this done annually starting at a certain age based on genetic heritage. Proactive!

Instead of spending millions of dollars and heartache trying to cure how about early detection? If the model was flipped, how much money do you think that Insurance companies would save and how much healthier would we all be?

Comments (Archived):

  1. LE

    As a business idea it’s decent. However with radiology and medicine in particular there is the concept of the ‘worried well’. And causing unneeded anxiety.There is also (with radiology) the concept of ‘incidental’ finding. And incidental finding is something that comes up when you are not looking for it say something is on the ‘study’ but not the reason for the study in the first place. In no way is it always good to know what is going on. Things are often not close to being black and white. Discovering things means you might have either anxiety or you will do further tests and so on. Maybe even an invasive test with risks involved. Sure you don’t have to but you might be forced to by what you find out.My point is the cost is not the issue solely with this type of thing.Body scanning sounds like a great idea as long as you only consider the upside is my point. But to be clear there is a downside as well.I think this was even proven out somewhat with changing thoughts on prostate testing flip flopping as far as how often and what the test means and so on.Lastly medical opinion is medical opinion. It’s judgement and clearly not always clearcut in any way. Doesn’t mean keep your head in the sand. But honestly living with years of ‘what if’ anxiety isn’t good either.

    1. Gotham Gal

      The more they do it the more they know what to look for and what is worth going down a deep dark hole for.

      1. PhilipSugar

        If you can afford the cost personally. And I hate to be ROI centric. But there are a ton of things that are much better if you are looking at outcomes across a large population.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Get your point for sure-and this shouldn’t be free or covered by Medicaid. However, as they scale and get bigger, and as MRI machines get more ubiquitous, the cost ought to go down. What’s interesting is to watch “cash-only” medical procedures. It gives a true hint to what the cost of medicine might be in a free market. Elective plastic surgery or lasik surgery costs are incredibly cheap compared to other procedures that are similar in duration/skill etc

          1. PhilipSugar

            Lasik is a GREAT example.It is not a direct analogy, but look at the opioid crisis. Let’s just take the rural part of it. Not the urban, not the wealthy, We can strip out all of the PC stuff because really people don’t give a shit about “white trash” as Louis CK says you can use that slur anytime you want.Now it is popular to shun the Shackler family and I get it, but that is such a tiny small easy to feel good thing. I agree 100% with Obama it feels good to be a social justice warrior on it, but you aren’t helping the whole issue. It is a poster child for why well meaning medical and social policies that work other places in the world don’t work here. Tons of doctors made tons of money prescribing like candy and getting medicaid and medicare payments from the government, drug distributors shipped knowing that they were shipping more than entire regions could use if everybody was on them getting government money, the drug companies pumped them out getting government money, and lawyers got people on Social Security Disability which kicks ass compared to other forms of government aid.Areas of the country were gutted.

          2. LE

            Also important to the opioid crisis was the government making pain the 5th vital sign. This was (from what I have been told and read) pushed by the Pharma industry. As such Doctors were given the directive to treat pain and this fit right in with the drug company marketing and opioids. That is often missed. It started with lobbying by Pharma.https://www.medpagetoday.co…Tons of doctors made tons of money prescribing like candy and getting medicaid and medicare paymentsBack in the early 00’s a doctor in the complex I was at previously (in PA) was raided by the Feds one day (pretty cool when it happened) and now is in jail for that. Note how long ago this was. The lowlifes used to come far and wide for the pain scripts. Funny when the Feds showed up I told them he had deposited tons of papers in the trash dumpster and they literally didn’t even care at all. And with an attitude.https://www.mcall.com/news/…A cousin of my ex wife who was a pharmacist got busted for opioids and spent a few years in prison. I remember when he came to me for advice about buying a small pharmacy. I told him ‘you will never make money with that it’s to small and you will not be able to complete’ (it was literally the size of a small magazine store). So he buys it anyway. He opens up. All the sudden he is making money. My ex wife says ‘see you think you were so smart you were wrong!’. But he was selling opioids. They finally caught up with him, arrest, jail. (This was the mid 00’s). He had a cover story. He said he had made deals with various retirement homes and rehab facilities to supply drugs (to explain how he made money in other words so nobody suspected). In the raid they found $200,000 cash in a safe in his house. No issue on that though he apparently reported it on taxes that year (interesting it’s only illegal if not reported and how can you tell when the cash was received, right?)

          3. LE

            It’s not just the machine. There is a constraint on the readings and interpretations. My ex girlfriend was a radiologist she would do 60 ‘studies’ per day complete with dictation. So you can have more machines but you still need both operators but also and more importantly people to make the diagnoses. And no it’s not going to be taken care of by AI either. You still will need a human review. Even ‘night hawk’ radiology (where studies are sent to say Australia) need to be reviewed (last I heard) also by a US Physician and signed off on.

  2. William Mougayar

    This makes a lot of sense, but I recall asking my GP about being pro-active that way, and the response was that the results aren’t always definitive, and that sometimes they send you down an inquisition path that’s not necessarily valuable. I’m on the fence, and tempted to do it anyways.

    1. LE

      and the response was that the results aren’t always definitive, and that sometimes they send you down an inquisition path that’s not necessarily valuable.This is exactly my point. But not only ‘not necessarily valuable’ but also could have downside and consequences. The ‘not valuable’ is not an issue if cost isn’t an issue. The physical and psychological aspects could clearly be problematic. Unnecessary anxiety is for sure a problem with many people.

    2. Gotham Gal

      For sure. GPS freak but honestly I am so happy I did it

  3. awaldstein

    Early detection is everything with Cancer. Simply trust that statement.I already sent this link to my doctor.I’m gonna dig into this.And yes, the more data in the system, the better for everyone.Thanks!

    1. AMT Editorial Staff

      Wonder about false positive rate/stress?

      1. Gotham Gal

        It happens I am sure

  4. LIAD

    Incidental findings can open up a whole lotta hurt needlessly. I don’t think this is so clear cut.

    1. PhilipSugar

      Could not agree more. See my post. Needless tests are one of the huge reasons for high U.S. health bills.

      1. pointsnfigures

        False positives….big deal in medicine. Almost worse than false negatives.

  5. lauraglu

    As someone who (two weeks ago) had a tumor removed, and doesn’t need additional treatment due to my own early detection, I love this. If we hadn’t caught mine as early as we did, I would have certainly needed radiation and/or chemo.I think in the balance of “needless worry” and “saving lives” I come out on the lives saved side.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Get well soon!

  6. PhilipSugar

    Why healthcare so expensive in the U.S.? Let’s take and talk the real reason. That urban person eating absolute crap or the super obese rural family? They soak up drugs like they come from a Pez dispenser. When it comes to dying they are sitting in the hospital running up a huge bill from hospitals that are looking to maximize profit. Those Doctors in the medical offices with a new machine? Every single patient that comes in is going to get that machine used and charged. And there are a ton of shister doctors that are willing to try and milk the system in any way they can.Anybody that sits there and gives me examples from other countries should live there and travel there like I do. Live among the people here in the U.S. like I do. It is not the same in any way and that is why there is a difference in cost. So talk to me and explain how you fix those first.

  7. pointsnfigures

    I have a friend who wrote the book “The Color of Rain” (https://www.amazon.com/Colo… which I would encourage anyone to read as cancer tears up and affects a family. His son got cancer at 14. Still alive but miraculous story. His brother goes in for an MRI every other month or so to see if there is any cancer in his body. He is guaranteed to get it. It’s a ticking time bomb in his body-only question is when and what turns it on.

  8. jason wright

    I’ve had two MRI scans in the last few years. Nothing showed up, and that was worth knowing.I assume the US insurance and medical health industries have crunched the numbers on this and it turns out to be less profitable than carrying on with the present system.

    1. Gotham Gal

      big doubt on that.

      1. jason wright

        So why the inertia?