Connected health takes on new momentum as technology and healthcare start to converge

Connected health takes on new momentum as technology and healthcare start to converge

Connected health has huge promise – the ability to provide on-demand patient care, in the home has lots of appeal, from both the patient point of view as well as the service provider. While billions of dollars are being invested in health tech, one of the biggest struggles for innovators in this sector is finding the right business model that is commercially viable, according to healthcare investor Dave Chase.

But despite this – and figures vary according to different market research companies – the connected healthcare market is expected to reach US$105.33 billion by 2022. Plus, with players like Amazon reportedly having a secret team called 1492 exploring opportunities in digital health, and Apple earlier this year hiring a head of digital health, Sumbul Desai, from Stanford Medicine’s center for digital health, it certainly looks like there’s huge momentum growing in this sector.

This is made even more significant when you see the pharmaceutical giants slowly weighing into the potential for tech – like diabetes m-health, in which app developers such as mySugr and Glooko have extended deals with Roche and Novo Nordisk.

With the connectedness comes concerns about security – payers and drug and device manufacturers equally urgently require a secure connected health IT ecosystem to manage healthcare data and promote value-based care. Which is why there is research looking at how to apply or adopt blockchain in healthcare.

At its core, blockchain offers the potential of a shared platform that decentralizes health data, ensuring access control, authenticity, and integrity of protected health information. In addition, a blockchain-based distributed network consensus with cryptography techniques provides an additional layer of trust to minimize cybersecurity threats for healthcare IT systems. A blockchain-based trusted workflow with a single source of truth presents the healthcare industry with potential new possibilities for outcome-based care delivery and reimbursement models.

However, the blockchain concept remains difficult to grasp, so the technology may not be the panacea for healthcare industry challenges. but it holds the potential to save billions of dollars by optimizing current workflows and the disintermediation of some high-cost gatekeepers.

Meeting of objectives: medical technology and connected health

Quite often, many companies we see tend to look at it from their side – for example technology companies not necessarily fully understanding the patientcare delivery ecosystem, or care providers not fully appreciating the impact of technology.

New research suggests that consumer adoption of connected heath products has reached aa new high in 2017. Over 40 percent of U.S. broadband households now own a connected health product, up from 37 percent in 2016 and 33 percent in 2015. The convergence of medical technology and connected health will be the main theme of fourth-annual Connected Health Summit: Engaging Consumers, August 29-31 in San Diego, USA.

“The steady increase in consumer adoption of connected health products bodes well for the ongoing healthcare practice transformation,” says Harry Wang, senior director of research at Parks Associates, which is running the summit. “At the Connected Health Summit, we will examine the latest trends and opportunities in the med-tech industry and how the evolving healthcare industry can transform patient experiences.”

The summit will discuss the implications of the connected healthcare revolution and the resulting consumerization of healthcare. Confirmed keynotes for the event include executives from Aetna Digital, Geisinger Health System, Sharecare Inc., and UnitedHealth Group.

In the session “Pursuing Value-Based Care to Deliver Superior Outcomes,” healthcare providers and their technology solution providers present successful strategies in delivering patient care in a value-based payment environment and share their perspective on the roles of technology solutions in transforming care practices and patient experience.

“At Alignment Healthcare, we are using technology to connect all aspects of member care in real time – linking our physicians, specialists, and case managers together through our command center,” said Arta Bakshandeh, senior medical officer, Alignment Healthcare. “This has allowed us to deliver true value for our patients by moving the burden of care coordination away from patients and back where it should be: in the hands of medical professionals.”

“Having the technology that provides accurate information to the point of care is one key to changing the way we deliver care, driving value and better outcomes through process excellence,” said Stephen Morgan, SVP and chief medical information officer, Carilion Clinic. “The ability to have accurate, actionable data at the point of care enhances our clinicians’ ability to engage their patients in their care, leading to a better patient experience and improved outcomes.”

The session “Convergence of Medical Technology and Connected Health,” addresses the latest trends and challenges in the med-tech industry and the successes and lessons learned by players that are building digital solutions to transform patient experiences.

“At the Connected Health Summit, Omron Healthcare will address the possibilities presented by the convergence of the most portable, clinically accurate heart health monitors ever developed, apps that track critical health data and share with providers in real-time and the potential of analytics and artificial intelligence to allow us to become more predictive and effective in prevention of cardiac events,” said Ranndy Kellogg, president and CEO, Omron Healthcare. “Our Going for Zero mission to eradicate heart attack and stroke requires a new level of partnership, recruitment, and collaboration. We will be sharing new insights into how we are making those connections and advancing toward our goal.”

[Image: Harman Healthcare, a Samsung company]

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