The Sickcare Quadratic Equation

The Sickcare Quadratic Equation

Do you remember solving quadratic equations? A quadratic equation is an equation of the second degree, meaning it contains at least one term that is squared. The standard form is ax² + bx + c = 0 with a, b, and c being constants, or numerical coefficients, and x is an unknown variable. One absolute rule is that the first constant "a" cannot be a zero.

According to the introduction to Quadratic Equations, Babylonians and the Greek were the early solvers of these equations, even though the Indian Mathematicians were not far behind in their findings. However, the standard solutions for quadratic equations were first published in 1145 C.E in ‘Liber embadorum’ in Europe. Latin (modern) and French were prominent languages used in Europe then.

And in French, quadratique means made square (You can look into it on Google) and hence the name Quadratic in English. Also, in Latin the same quadraticus means make square.

While there are many stakeholders in sick care, when it comes to biopharma, medtech and digital health companies engaging with physicians and other sick care professionals, the new quadratic equation includes the doctor, the company, the patient and the payer.

Each part of the square wants something different, and thus, any attempt to improve engagement will require providing a different value proposition to the other elements as well.

Doctors want a QWILT SET.

What's more, each doctor values something different during the patient encounter and care pathway.

Patients want convenience and a better sick care experience

Product makers want profits and data to inform their engagement strategies

Payers want data to price their products and justify cost effectiveness.

Solving the new sick care quadratic equation is a lot harder than what you did in algebra class. Failure to solve it results in the wrong result squared.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physican Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD>

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  • Martin Miller

    Wanna bang my head in the table hoping to understand math. This is the easiest quadratic equation I have ever seen but so complicated to solve in real life.

  • Joanne Barth

    I wish medical school would teach this as quickly and simply as this.

  • Vincent Malone

    Keep doing what you are doing !!

  • Ilan Ross

    Totally helped out even if I am not into sick care.

  • Dean Burke

    God bless you Dr Meyers.

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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