The connected health ecosystem is growing rapidly, with the rise in wearable technologies and internet of things (IoT). In addition, over 50 percent of hospitals now use three or more connected health technologies such as patient portals, patient education/engagement apps, remote patient monitoring and others, according to a survey. However, there is still a long way to go to strike the right balance between healthcare providers, technology providers, and to educate patients on what is available.
That’s because the early adopters of new connected health technologies largely represent health-conscious, but not necessarily unhealthy, consumers. A key challenge for the healthcare industry in 2016 is to develop strategies to engage other segments of the population. According to a white paper on the connected health market by Parks Associates, 30 percent of consumers aged 18-24 who have chronic conditions do not have a primary care doctor, and 55 percent of US broadband households have a head of household with at least one chronic condition. These are warning signs for the industry, it claims.
The paper says that there will be consolidation in the payer and provider markets for health and wellness, with a shift to outcome based vales for digital health solutions from care providers, and a growth in body area sensor network technology.
For example, health and wellness apps are key use cases on smartphones and tablets. The strong growth and tremendous potential in the healthcare markets have prompted new rounds of innovations and consolidation. In 2016, consolidation in the payer and provider markets will continue, helping reduce market fragmentation and increase the scale of digital health solution deployment.
There will also be a shift to pay-for-performance, incentivizing care providers to invest in scalable and effective digital health solutions. The value proposition for digital health solutions will increasingly become outcome-based, and solution providers will be asked to participate more in a risk-sharing contract. This trend will require new strategies to engage the most at-risk (and high cost) patients.
Sensor technology will experience significant strides forward in the next five years; body area networks (BANs) will become affordable solutions and add significant value to the digital health markets.
One of the challenges though is the low awareness among consumers, which hampers utilization of wellness benefits. For example, only 6 percent of health insurance customers are aware that their insurers offer discounts towards the purchase of certain fitness tracking devices. Healthcare companies are under pressure to improve their engagement efforts, especially among customers with chronic conditions. As a result, the care coordination function will become more sophisticated and personalized in 2016, as more health data will converge and smart algorithms will play a key role in personalized care delivery.
These are issues that will be addressed in Barcelona next month as all the stakeholders from the European digital health tech ecosystem will meet for the Health 2.0 Europe (10-12th May) conference. The conference will showcase innovative technologies from around the world helping healthcare professionals and patients in their daily activities and lives in the hospital or remotely. The organization chose Barcelona for hosting this conference because of its prominence as a major capital for innovation and its close collaboration with the Mobile World Capital Barcelona. All the key players of the health IT ecosystem will be represented in the conference program. This year, the conference’s structure holds three main axes: accelerating the adoption of innovative solutions by patients and healthcare professionals, increasing the investment flow in digital health start-ups, and the reimbursement of these new technologies by public and private insurance systems. Along those lines, here are some of the scheduled discussion panels:
- Health 2.0 trends around the world
- Solutions for hospitals and health professionals
- From health to well-being: consumer tools
- Building a new framework for Health 2.0 adoption in the clinical setting
- Building blocks to a dynamic Health 2.0 ecosystem in Europe
- Health 2.0 applications and implementations in emerging markets
- Health 2.0 power to the patients
- Who will pay for Health 2.0? An investors’ discussion
- Health 2.0 transforming the daily mission of nurses
- Reimbursement – players, trends, criteria, and processes
Among the speakers of the congress are world-class names like Dr. Rafael Grossmann, trauma surgeon and pioneer in digital health (he performed the first-ever live surgery with Google Glass); Esther Dyson, one of the most influential investors in digital health in the world – her latest investments include PatientsLikeMe, 23andMe, HealthTap, and Omada Health; Dr. Julio Mayol, director of the Innovation Institute San Carlos Health Research (IdSSC) in Madrid and advisor to biomedical technology and digital health start-ups.
There are expected to be 50 live demo of digital health solutions designed to help all those involved in health management (patients, healthcare professionals, pharma groups, public and private insurers…) showcased from a user perspective. As an example, the session “Solutions for Hospitals and Health Professionals” will be introduced by Dr. Rafael Grossmann and will showcase five of the latest most advanced tools and apps created to increase the quality of patient care and reduce healthcare costs.
Health 2.0 Europe provides visibility to digital health start-ups to, together with funding opportunities and investor networking. The EC2VC- investors’ forum and pitch competition will focus specifically on increasing the investment flow in Europe. “At Health 2.0 Europe we bring together the most active international investors in digital health so they can engage early with the most promising digital health start-ups in Europe,” says Pascal Lardier, Health 2.0’s International Director.
The Next Silicon Valley is a media partner for Health 2.0 Barcelona; for a discount code, please contact us here.
[Photo credit: Proteus Digital Health]