By Nitin Dahad
The impact of technology on healthcare has been a strong theme in many discussions I have had over the last few weeks. With the Health 2.0 conference taking place this month in Barcelona, it’s timely that market intelligence firm Tractica has released a report indicating 78 million consumers will utilize home health technologies by 2020.
This seems to be a very conservative figure given the growing number of companies that seem to be developing connected devices and apps for monitoring various conditions. According to principal analyst Charul Vyas, “Key factors driving interest in home healthcare technologies include rising healthcare costs, aging populations, and a rise in the number of people living with chronic diseases.”
The report says that the ability to remotely monitor patients with chronic conditions, utilize technology for improved eldercare, and conduct virtual physician consultations (eVisits) is being seen as a way to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall healthcare system, as well as to improve patient outcomes. Meanwhile, home health devices and applications are leveraging the ubiquity of residential broadband networking and smartphones to help consumers manage health and wellness on an ongoing basis.
The analyst adds, “However, significant challenges remain for the industry to solve, including regulatory issues, data security and privacy, and technology interoperability and integration issues.”
Technology innovating women’s health care
One of the other important topics being touched on is women’s health – companies like Bayer Healthcare, Lumira and LARAcompanion provide an insight into the market and the mobile technologies innovating women’s health. In particular it looks at market opportunities, gaps in gender based evaluations in clinical and pharma spaces and wellness.
For example, Helen Figge of Lumira talks about their Consult platform which acts as health information exchange by connecting disparate data sources. As with many heath technology solutions, Lumira captures connected device data in real-time, populating the platform with relevant stats and plotting progress over time. The theory is that with continuous updates coming into the platform, care managers will be able to keep tabs on their whole patient population and spot the people that need care quicker.
Other speaker’s in this technology in women’s health session include Juliane Zielonka, co-founder and CEO of LARAcompanion, a mobile health program for overcoming infertility; Jessica Federer, chief digital officer of Bayer Healthcare, one of the world’s largest women’s health advocates; and Harroula Bilali, an expert in fertility and pregnancy, and founding partner of Bilalis Women Wellness Medical Practice, which combines cutting edge medical science with integrative care in assisted reproduction and pregnancy.
Seeding the innovation – accelerators and connected health tools
At the Health 2.0 conference, there is a deep dive into everything from accelerators, to open APIs, to connected health tools. Bayer Grants4Apps, SoftServe and iHealth Labs in particular highlight where innovation is needed and how new partners, collaborators, and entrepreneurs can become involved.
The head of Bayer’s Grants4Apps Digital Health Accelerator, Jesus del Valle, talks about the role of health care accelerators. At the conference, he will speak about the lessons gained from the Grants4Apps Accelerator in Berlin, where Bayer Healthcare provides mentorship, support, and funding for companies developing health IT solutions to better connect and empower patients or health care stakeholders.
SoftServe talks about the future for electronic medical records. The backdrop is that core medical data is already becoming a small percentage of an overall personal health record, and existing EMR platforms are over 20 years old and struggling to keep up due to archaic architectures, millions of lines of code, that are making little differentiation in the workflow of their provider clients, and the resulting health of those patients. The future will be about open API’s and integrated data to drive a more personalized level of precision medicine at the point of care.
For more information on Health 2.0 and registration, click here.