If you’ve missed the bizarre Twitter debate between billionaire businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban versus all the health and medical experts online who cared to engage, it’s worth catching up.
Cuban’s comments are key to understanding one of the most important paradigm shifts going on in American health care: the use of data to create evidence-based screening guidelines to reduce unnecessary, expensive and potentially harmful interventions. Writing about screenings therefore requires understanding both the benefits and the harms of screening.
Cuban tweeted Wednesday afternoon:
1)If you can afford to have your blood tested for everything available, do it quarterly so you have a baseline of your own personal health
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) April 1, 2015
3) a big failing of medicine = we wait till we are sick to have our blood tested and compare the results to “comparable demographics” — Mark Cuban (@mcuban) April 1, 2015
This wasn’t an April Fool’s joke – Cuban was seriously recommending to his 2.8 million followers that getting four blood tests a year, every year, was a smart health decision. Charles Ornstein called him out and later Storifyed the ensuing debate. Other journalists, such as Seema Yasmin, M.D., at The Dallas Morning News, also wrote about how wrong Cuban is. Continue reading