Greetings from San Diego, where along with several of my Fortune colleagues I am attending the inaugural Brainstorm Health conference focused on the business of health care. We’ve assembled a collection of the finest commercially minded professionals in medicine, all of whom are exploring various ways either to cure disease or otherwise make people healthier. (Catch our coverage here.)

If there’s a consensus among the business-of-medicine types it’s that we ought to spend way more effort (and money) on the making people healthier part. David Agus, the esteemed oncologist and author (and a co-chair of the conference), says his industry needs to focus far more on preventing diseases than curing them. It makes eminent good sense to do that: stop a disease before it starts and there’d be nothing to treat. And yet, the overwhelming focus of medicine and insurance is on treatment, not prevention.

It’s a confounding problem, both in its simplicity and the paucity of fixes for it. Dana Goldman, a health economist at the University of Southern California, gives a telling example. An endocrinologist colleague told him about treating an obese patient. “The best thing for the patient would be to take him for a walk,” the doctor said. “But I don’t get paid for that.”

There are solutions. James Park, CEO of fitness tracker Fitbit, reports that companies participating in his company’s employee-monitoring program on average save $1,300 per person annually on healthcare costs. (Merely tracking employees and encouraging them to be active acts as a form of preventive medicine.)

Over the course of the conference, which ends late Wednesday, we’ll be hearing about mind-blowing innovations in medical science, in particular the ways information technology helps the cause. If there’s one thing I’ve learned already, it’s that a far simpler solution, one that requires as much of a mindset change as anything else, is staring us in the face.

Adam Lashinsky
@adamlashinsky
adam_lashinsky@fortune.com