Merry Christmas to y’all and Ho Ho Ho!!! I hope that your holiday season is the best one yet-even those of you who need a Benzo or flask to make it through the wildness. You may be rolling your eyes that you are getting yet another “holiday cheer” message but hang in there just a moment and read some cool predictions for 2017. I’ve included some technical predictions for the fact finders in the group, and I’ve also added in a light dusting of astrology, for you esoteric lovers. This little note is meant to give you something nice to put under your Christmas tree and into your brain during the holidays. I find that introspection happens best when I am not in my day-to-day patterns.

2016 has been the year of foundational growth for organizational patterns, content creation and teamwork for me. The energetic shifts were incredible at both East West Health and in Go Wellness. I have also seen the same structural changes in many of your practices. Each one of us has a very bright future ahead so breathe in and feel it deep in your belly! I can’t thank you enough for the inspiration you have given me. I have been in awe of the forward progress from so many of you leaders who are moving healthcare into a bugger, brighter future. For those of you who have not yet taken your Kolbe profile-get those done so that you can learn more about how you work and how your team members work best.

I’ve read several predictions on healthcare for 2017-more of the same, drug costs will rise higher than they have in years, higher premiums, less insurance help, more instability in the industry. Bottom line: get out of insurance and learn how to become a 95% or more cash practice by differentiating your clinic with cool services like lifestyle medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic care, stem cell therapy, functional medicine and health coaching, as a start. People will be looking for you.

I also found a great blog on Red Ox Engine written by Written by George McLaughlin and thought that I would include my personal insights on all 7 of his 2017 Healthcare Predictions. This guy is brilliant in healthcare tech predictions and I think that you will see some amazing opportunities that we’ve never had access to before.

6 Insights to 2017 Healthcare Predictions:

1. Amazon will make a big splash in the medical payments space.

“Amazon Payments gateway is taking over e-commerce. They use your existing information and payment details to simplify the checkout process on any website by an order of magnitude. Why wouldn’t we also see this in healthcare, where billing is an antiquated mess of physical mailings, voicemails, and easily-missed patient portal messages? Creating a user friendly, quick process for paying for office visits and services received only makes sense, and we expect Amazon to start claiming their piece of the healthcare billing pie.”

Imagine Amazon promoting new patients for us on their world-dominating platform? You wake up in the morning, “Holy shit, we sold three, 6 month programs and 2 units of stem cells last night.”

2. Under Armour will make a significant move into the clinical space.

“We have a feeling Apple isn’t going to be the only consumer product giant making big splashes in the digital health space. Our prediction takes us far away from Silicon Valley to Baltimore’s inner harbor. Endomondo, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal… with nearly $1 billion spent on acquisitions in the past few years and a reported “digital health and fitness community” exceeding 150 million users, Kevin Plank’s firmly positioned Under Armour as a company to watch in digital health.”

Using digital means to coach our patients could be one way to scale your practice as it grows beyond what your current workforce can handle. We talk about group classes and office visits, now we need to start looking at technology for helping us 10x.

3. Video games promoting health and wellness will make waves.

“Everyone was buzzing this year about worldwide phenomenon Pokemon Go’s ability to, amazingly, get people outside. We expect this success to spill over into healthcare where “gamification” has long been a buzzword but not enough understanding around the potential impact has lead to half-hearted attempts. What we saw is the power of a truly good video game to have a positive impact on behaviors and actions.”

There is already software games for physical therapy from a company in Isreal that we could start using right away. There are games for weight loss, nutrition and mental health. We use several tools for meditation and have found the MUSE to be amazing. How many patients are playing card games on their smart phones in your reception area?

4. Someone will raise a tractor load of money to create the WeWork/WeLive for seniors.

“Aging alone is a huge problem in America today. Couple the recent rates of divorce with the lower levels of families having children and we are witnessing a generation of aging seniors dealing with never-before-seen levels of isolation. Hell, Huffington Post has an entire section devoted to the issue. Where many fret though, we as entrepreneurs see great opportunity!”

Need people and a place to do your lunch and dinner workshops? Imagine getting networked in a place like this and then offering group discounts on your wellness programs? You could deliver them onsite. If they need additional services-no problem, the clinic is just around the corner.

5. In-home medical diagnostic devices revolutionize Telemedicine and become ubiquitous like Fitbit.

“Many publications are predicting this is the year that Telemedicine finally becomes mainstream. We agree, but the reason (in our eyes) is the advancement in consumer-facing medical devices that will increase the quality of care that is able to be delivered via these remote systems. As a patient, it is incredibly difficult to articulate the issues you are having, making diagnosis and treatment a guessing game. What if there were devices that took the translation piece out of the equation and gave providers consistent, dependable data they could use to make accurate recommendations? Well, it’s coming.

Groups like Tytocare have finally gained FDA approval to bring easy-to-use, clinical grade, consumer-facing devices that allow patients to administer readings on themselves and loved ones which can be used (and trusted) by caregivers. We expect an explosion of these kinds of devices in homes across the country over the course of 2017. We all grew up with a thermometer in our home’s first aid kit, the next generation will grow up with something much more powerful.”

You’ve heard me talk about this for the past couple of years and maybe 2017 will be the first iteration of using technology that allows our patients to have instant access to what’s happening in their body. The game changer will be when diagnostics are put into the hands of the consumers, and they walk into our clinics with the intention to get solutions that are drug free.

6. We see a significant rise in voluntary services/ healthcare for the wealthy.

“At this point, it’s a borderline law of nature: the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The debate on why this is and what we can do about it is best waged somewhere else, but the effects of this reality lead us to predict that more and more boutique healthcare services for the wealthy will emerge.

We’ve seen the cyrotherapy trend sweep the fitness community and subscription healthcare services like Parsley Health are beginning to target the Lululemon-and-pressed-juice consumer, offering advanced health and wellness coaching beyond your traditional primary care physician. While those with disposable income have long been able to live healthier lives by spending more money on food and services like massage therapy, we expect more entrepreneurs to develop healthcare-facing solutions solely targeting the wealthiest of Americans.”

This is good news either way you look at it because it gives us the opportunity to link up with some very innovative places. You are offering a bit of a “boutique” clinical experience right now, and all you need to do to increase this is to put on your Lululemon apparel and get your marketing game on.

Now for the Astrology Lovers in the House:

Let’s get down to the business of planning for a bigger 2017. I’ve used the predictions from Loving Light Astrology.

“The key words for 2017 are excitement, breaking away, moving towards freedom and spiritual wisdom. Jupiter will be the planet that has the strongest voice in 2017. Jupiter is the great benefic, the planet that gives us the extra push to take a risk and confidence to in order to make something happen.”

Jupiter is your planet of expansion and the universe will give you this year to start on that pattern. We are expanding at EWH by working with clinics and corporations and have already seen some very cool changes.

“Spend time cultivating relationships, and social connections. February (2017) is prescient to a shift in what is the buzz on different topics, away from health care and workers’ rights towards centering on enjoying life in the moment, arts and time off. The resounding message of the upcoming eclipse pattern focuses on love, romance, creativity, and feeling connected; this will be a major theme of 2017. Large number of people can be retiring whether early retirement from successes made early in their career to baby boomers feeling that their nest egg has recovered enough from the 2008 great recession to be able to live off of the income they set aside.”

This is great news especially if you look at the prediction that baby boomers are looking for boutique health services.

“The north node moving into Leo, and hence the eclipse pattern for the next 18 months in Leo Aquarius supports the overall theme of following your hearts path to enjoy life, take risks, and break away from old patterns that are no longer a reflection of who you are or what you want.”

What kind of new patterns do you want to structure your life around? 2017 will not be the same as 2016, change or go extinct!

“Heart disease can be in the news and on the rise as well as Alzheimer’s.”

Both of these diseases are reversible with your functional medicine programs and with stem cell therapy. One of the coolest therapies that we were trained on this year was how to get stem cells to cross the blood brain barrier. This allows us to treat degenerative neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and neuropathy.

“The ability to transform our lives in a deep meaningful way through empowering rituals and habits. One will be by taking greater responsibility for our health through changing our habits. Create your perfect morning ritual, follow it for 30 days to transform it into a habit that does not need help to keep it going. Create rituals for any part of your life that you want to transform, put it into place for 30 days and it turns into a habit. Just don’t take on too many at one time, one a month is good.”

I hope this gets some of your creative juices flowing for the New Year.

I would love to hear of your most noteworthy “wins” for 2016. One of my favorite wins for the year was hosting our very first Utah event. I love hosting you in my hometown because you get to experience how cool my team is at East West Health. I also love hanging out with each one of you. Dancing on tables, enjoying heartfelt moments of appreciation, The feedback I received showed tremendous support in having future events in Utah and so those events will continue in 2017. This gives many of you the opportunity to combine your in-office training with the scheduled agenda, the only difference is that we are making the event a full session with the functional medicine boot camp on Saturday with break-out groups, then on Sunday we will offer a hands on training for building better office systems, teamwork, marketing tools, and report of findings role playing.

I know it’s taken a serious amount of work for each one of you to bundle your services and offer comprehensive wellness programs, learn labs, and to change the way you engage new patients. It’s been pretty damn fun to see how far we’ve all come and I can’t wait to see what transformations come in 2017. Send us your thoughts.

One final note: I will be teaching for The Lotus Institute in LA January 7th and 8th on stem cell proliferation with acupuncture and herbs. I will be diving into the clinical applications of using nutrition, lifestyle and natural treatments with stem cell injections or infusions. I will also show that stem cell mobilization may be one of the ways acupuncture works. I would love to have you join me! It’s a rough 16 hours with me and the camera so please come and bring a cocktail. Go Wellness is back in LA January 20-22nd so get registered and bring a guest!

Love and Aloha and Feliz Navidad!