“Don’t ever forget that you’re weird.”Not exactly what I expected to hear, years ago, on the first day of my first business school marketing class. This advice is a good reminder that designing for oneself, while straightforward and enticing, will not have widespread impact.When it comes to healthcare and wellness, the population of people needing support is quite diverse. Not everyone has adequate health insurance, access to specialists, disposable income for a gym membership, education about proper nutrition, a reliable personal support system or convenient internet access to receive messages from providers.
Apple's ResearchKit was quickly adopted by clinical studies at a series of universities and hospitals, but a new iOS app focused on rheumatoid arthritis from pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline marks the first time a drug company has made use of the framework.
Innovation is inspiring. It’s what drives the evolution of technology. Take digital health, for example: billions of investment dollars have poured into the space in support of technologies slated to transform healthcare delivery. But fresh ink on a blueprint and enthusiasm only gets you so far, and surprisingly, investment dollars may not take you much further.According to a 2014 Accenture study, more than half of all digital health startups are expected to fail within the first two years, a surprising finding considering last year’s venture funding topped off at $4.5 billion. Turns out, building technology that inspires financial backing is only half the battle—the real fight is carving out a space in the market where you belong.
hen you think about “digital health apps,” you probably envision a millennial guy pitching his new app aimed at other millennials to a bunch of old dudes at a venture capital firm. But that’s not what I see. I see innovators helping to patch up an expensive-yet-hole-ridden social safety net.
Despite spending trillions, the federal government still can’t figure out how to make sure Americans can afford their healthcare. Millions of Americans either can’t afford insurance, or still can’t afford basic care despite paying for insurance. Obamacare outlawed basic plans, while forcing more Americans to buy insurance or pay fines. The result was entirely predictable. Health insurance is even more expensive now than it was before the law.
Not only do Medicaid and Medicare provide inadequate care, but they have also set up perverse incentives which further diminish quality of care and increase costs for all patients
So while the US government dithers and then makes th
This year, a German businesswoman arrived in Washington DC and promptly developed a painful sinus infection. She searched online and found a local doctor, Suzanne Doud Galli. But instead of ordering a taxi to visit Dr Galli’s office, the patient arranged a virtual consultation via her smartphone from the comfort of her hotel room, with the help of an app called HealthTap.The app’s algorithm matched the patient’s symptoms with Dr Galli’s expertise. Dr Galli prescribed medicine and sent the prescription electronically to a pharmacy near the patient’s hotel — all in about 10 minutes.
Accenture identified five forces that would likely have an impact on the healthcare industry now. These forces, which it said will converge in three to five years, include: intelligent automation; the liquid workforce; the platform economy; predictable disruption; and digital trust. Kaveh Safavi, M.D., J.D., senior managing director of Accenture’s health practice, said with these five forces, the health industry will increasingly tap digital technologies to augment human labor, personalize care and free up time to focus on where they are needed most.“The outcome of a people-first, digital health strategy is that it liberates the healthcare workforce to focus on more meaningful work that requires judgment and personal interaction,” he said.According to the industry report, "Accenture Digital Health Technology Vision 2016, the health industry will increasingly embrace intelligent automation—powered by artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and augmented reality – to streamline basic tasks, such as collecting patient intake data, enabling clinicians to focus where their training and experience have the greatest value.
The UK’s unexpected referendum vote to leave the EU last week likely won’t take effect for another two years at least, but the potential consequences of the decision are already generating discussions in every industry, and digital health is no exception.Today the European Connected Health Alliance (ECHAlliance), a Belfast, Northern Ireland-based nonprofit collaborative with a mission to “develop innovative solutions around mobile health, chronic diseases, active and healthy aging, Internet of Things, wearables, personalized medicine, genomics, and big data” issued a statement about its future in light of the Brexit.
brainsJust a few months after Nokia acquired Withings to make a big push into digital health, it has collaborated with Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine to support outpatient care and clinical trials, according to a company statement.Nokia Technologies and Helsinki University Hospital will launch a remote patient monitoring solution in the second quarter, the statement said. The collaboration is a first for Nokia Technologies, reflecting the company’s intent to enter the regulated healthcare space.
IBM's Watson Health and the American Diabetes Association have outlined a multi-year partnership to analyze clinical and research data to better manage diabetes.The partnership was outlined at the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) annual scientific powwow in New Orleans. The goal is to use data to build cognitive applications for doctors, researchers and patients.Watson Health and the ADA have been working together to analyze 300,000 patient records to model outcomes and the disease as well as manage care.
Deepak Chopra, a leading figure in the alternative health movement, is moving into the mobile app business with the launch of Jiyo.Chopra and his co-founder Poonacha Machaiah have been talking about Jiyo for a while, but today the app is generally available on iOS and Android.We got a quick demo yesterday, with Machaiah explaining that one of the goals is “no typing”. Using data from the sensors in your phone and other fitness devices, Jiyo gives you tips for brief tasks that are supposed to improve your well-being, like doing a stretch after a long flight, or meditations and other routines that might improve your sleep if you haven’t been sleeping well.
Here’s a surprising stat: Almost half of the American population suffers from chronic illness. Here’s an even more surprising stat: almost one in four Americans (approximately 75 million people) have multiple chronic conditions. And here’s an alarming one: chronic illness (ex: hypertension, respiratory diseases, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, dementia) is the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S.
The good news: technology has enabled a burgeoning universe of digital solves to help patients manage their health. This universe, though still in its relative infancy, is huge: there are over 165,000 apps and digital services ranging from basic tools such as fitness trackers to research platforms connecting patients with doctors.
We’ve all heard about electronic health records, fitness apps for your smartphone, and wearable fitness trackers. Mobile health (mHealth) is no longer the new kid on the block. It’s here to stay, and now we’re moving into the phase where wearables are a part of the mainstream lifestyle.How many of your friends, family members or co-workers have a MapMyRun app on their phone, or are wearing a FitBit? Chances are, a lot of them. In fact, Forrester reported in 2015 that 20 percent of Americans have admitted to owning and using a wearable fitness device.
Healthcare has been understandably late to the widespread adoption of digital technology. Extremely restrictive regulations, the presence of multiple key stakeholders, a slow-to-adopt culture and other challenges distinguish healthcare from the retail and finance sectors, which have flourished with their implementations of digital technologies. But pharmaceutical companies (pharma) inhabit a unique position, situated between patients, prescribers and payers, allowing them to gain maximum benefits from a wide array of digital offerings.
Digital health executives and professors testified about the ways they think federal regulation needs to change to create a robust digital health industry while still protecting the safety and wellbeing of patients.The conversation spanned various regulatory bodies and federal programs including HIPAA, the FDA, FTC and Medicare.“The regulatory framework for most of these apps is complicated and in some cases troubling,” Nicolas Terry, a law professor at Indiana University said in his prepared testimony. “The oversimplified binary of regulation versus innovation is a poor frame. Rather, we have a current technological space that is subject to both over-regulation and under-regulation.”
A panel discussion on the future of digital health in pharma at the MedCity CONVERGE conference in Philadelphia this week highlighted how Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Roche are using telemedicine, mobile health and connected devices as part of their drug development strategy. They also called attention to the impact of compliance on implementing these technologies.
Chad mobile from UnicefThe expanding role of healthcare providers is not limited to societies with “developed” healthcare systems. Diseases, such as AIDS and malaria, prevalent in the third world and emerging countries are now considered chronic or curable with the proper treatment, leaving those afflicted with greater chance of recovery. However, as the cost the typical person pays for healthcare over his or her lifetime rises, the question becomes: How will these emerging societies, especially those in less-developed countries, sustain a rising bill?The answer is they cannot. Hopefully, they will not have to. Already, healthcare technology providers around the globe are finding new ways to reduce the overall cost of medicine by improving efficiencies wherever possible. They are accomplishing this in a few key ways:
Three mHealth companies enrolled in the LA-based health system's recent accelerator are now launching new programs targeting post-acute care, VR therapy and online registration.Cedars-Sinai has launched partnerships with three mHealth companies, all graduates of the health system’s recent Techstars Healthcare Accelerator.The Los Angeles-based health system is launching programs to help patients access post-acute care at home, take part in virtual reality-based therapeutic services and use an online platform to price and select sports medicine services.
The world is on the verge of a fourth industrial revolution, characterized by artificial intelligence, robots, big data, and deep learning and analytics, but medicine is still stuck at the beginning of the third industrial revolution, which has already brought digital capabilities to billions of people worldwide.That’s the contention of Eric Topol, MD, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and chief academic officer of Scripps Health in La Jolla, Calif., who says that the digital revolution has been occurring since the middle of the last century. Even so, the healthcare industry continues to only minimally leverage information technology.
Telling sleep apnea patients they need to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is kind of like telling smokers they need to quit. They know it’s good for their health, but it’s hard to change.
If you think it's hard to keep up with all the new software and hardware innovations, imagine doctors trying to stay abreast of medical advances."While wonderful new medical discoveries and innovations are in the news every day, doctors struggle with using information and techniques available right now," writes Leo Anthony Celi, assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, in the Conversation commentary Improving patient care by bridging the divide between doctors and data scientists. "As a practicing doctor, I deal with uncertainties and unanswered clinical questions all the time."
bigstock-People-Talking-25125962Physicians say they prescribe apps far more than patients seem to think they do, if a survey carried out by Nielsen and commissioned by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices is anything to go by. MobiHealth News reported that Nielsen talked to 30,007 U.S. consumers and 626 U.S. physicians for the poll.More than 50 percent of physicians said they had recommended that patients use a fitness tracking app in the past 12 months. About 40 percent said they recommended wearables to their patients and 45 percent of doctors said they had recommended biometric tools to track things like sleep or heart rate. Yet there was a sharp contrast with consumer numbers, as MobiHealth News observed.
After Microsoft bought the Finnish corporation’s mobile division in 2014, the company formed Nokia Technologies, its “advanced technology and licensing business.” As the division’s President Ramzi Haidamus tells Digital Trends, Nokia Technologies will “rekindle the innovation spirit” with a consumer side, and will fund its projects with its patent and brand licensing business.
Health systems and hospitals that are taking financial risk for keeping people healthy aren't the only ones that want access to patient-generated data.Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are increasingly interested in how patient-reported information can be used to get their products to market faster and assess how they perform in the real world.At the Biotechnology Industry Organization's annual conference, familiar names in digital health were front and center in the program and exhibit hall. And for the first time, the Digital Health Summit held its annual summer meeting alongside the larger BIO conference.
Fitness trackers are great, but their applications could go far beyond simply tracking how many steps you take. For example, they could be used to seriously help people who need it — like children with autism.That’s the idea behind a new health tracker from a company called Awake Labs, which has just launched an Indiegogo campaign for the Reveal — a fitness tracker that’s aimed squarely at helping kids on the autism spectrum
A health-care innovation hub that will focus on developing digital technology for use in the delivery of medical services took its first turn in the spotlight Wednesday as Boston and state officials officially opened the center before an attentive throng at the Landmark Center near the Fens.“This is where we work with the business community to move Boston innovation forward,” Mayor Marty Walsh said at the event, according to posts on Twitter.“We have all of the elements here in Massachusetts to lead in digital health,” Gov. Charlie Baker said at the afternoon event. He said the state has “core elements” to lead the world in the technology.
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