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029: Future-Proofing Your Practice With Tom Blue

Published By: Uli Iserloh
Date: April 12, 2023

Super excited about my latest podcast episode featuring Tom Blue, a veteran strategist in the functional medicine space.

Tom has dedicated most of the last 20 years to researching and synthesizing new approaches in primary care and personal health management...

... and as part of our series on the evolution of medicine, I asked him to share how health practitioners can future-proof their practices.

You see, Tom has a very keen understanding of what works in the functional medicine space from his days as the chief strategy officer for the Institute for Functional Medicine...

... so I asked him what he'd do if he were to start a practice from scratch:

  • How would you go about launching a practice?
  • Would you niche down into a certain area, and if so, which one?
  • How would you ensure that lifestyle changes stick?
  • What technologies and trends will dominate the next decade in healthcare?

One of the interesting nuggets Tom shared was a study he conducted a few years back, called the Disease Activation Index – examining 15 conditions and the patients' willingness to engage in care (and pay out of pocket).


  • “We have essentially handed over control of curating our health care to a payer that only seldom has our interests at heart. So think about what your car or your house would look like, if the only things you did to take care of it were covered by Geico. And so that if you think about the declining state of the American human condition, from a health standpoint, I think a lot of it has to do with this very thing. It's like preventive care, that root cause resolution of things. These are more value judgments than things that pose the risk of financial ruin. So they're not really in the domain of what insurance should cover anyway. But unfortunately, most consumers have yet to wade into that reality.” (8:29-9:10 | Tom Blue) Audiogram
  • “If you're wanting to solve pains, focus on conditions that are painful and where the healthcare system leaves people wanting more.” (15:41-15:48 | Tom Blue)
  • “There's this astonishingly large population of people that a year ago, two years ago, were essentially the picture of health and function. And all of a sudden, they can't walk around the block without being completely exhausted.” (16:50-17:05 | Tom Blue)
  • “Unlike a lot of chronic conditions that, like the frog in the pot of boiling water, progress so slowly you're constantly recalibrating what normal is and you forget how good you used to feel, Long COVID is the opposite of that.” (17:23-17:35 | Tom Blue) 
  • “The only way we have to quantify health historically has been our bathroom scale, which is generally a bad news generator. Now that we have tools like an Aura Ring, you've got this high resolution continuous picture of your health in many different dimensions. And there’s good news to be found in it.” (26:36-26:57 | Tom Blue)
  • “Don't mistake the opportunity for Long COVID with the frustration of dealing with the fast moving world of acute COVID. This is a big opportunity, not only to grow your practice, but quite frankly, to put a massive stake into the ground around the power of root cause medicine and an opportunity to build an evidence base that I think is of huge significance for the whole field.” (29:19-29:43 | Tom Blue)

Connect With Tom Blue

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Uli Iserloh
As one of the leading marketing strategists in the integrative/functional medicine space, Uli Iserloh has been advising many of today’s leaders on marketing strategy and marketing technology for over 23 years — helping health practitioners increase new patient enrollment predictably… even if they cringe at selling, hate to be on social media 24/7 or have never run paid ads. Uli Iserloh is on a mission to equip health & wellness professionals to consistently pre-educate prospects into patients… largely on autopilot. After 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry, he founded Big Boost Marketing, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving many of today’s Functional & Integrative Medicine leaders. He’s the host of the Getting To YES podcast as well as the co-creator of the Evolution of Medicine Practice Accelerator.


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