As Aca Pushes Connectivity, Home Health Technologies To Double - Forbes

By robertrxwarner, 05.05.2014, 05:42

Time For Pharma To Recognize Digital Health More Than Just A Pretty Font? - Forbes

The growth also includes wearable technology such as fitness and heart-rate monitors. The trend is fueled by two laws signed by President Obama. In 2009, Obama signed into law the Health InformationTechnology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, (HITECH) which was part of the federal stimulus legislation known as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The legislation provides more than $20 billion to help doctors and hospitals move into the digital age through the use of electronic health records and related health information technology. There are also penalties in that legislation in the form of reduced Medicare payments if doctors and hospitals cant demonstrate an adequately working electronic health record system by next year. As connectivity and interoperability is increasing, these products both devices and services are starting to converge giving consumers more comprehensive solutions, says Roeen Roashan, IHSanalyst for consumer medical devices and digital health. As they become more comprehensive, the gap between clinical care and home health becomes more narrow, which is necessary to provide patient centered care. IHS IHS sees technology services providers like AT & T (T) Verizon (VZ) and Sprint (S) playing a key role in this effort. The trend toward these new technologies and services will be driven by employers, private insurers and the Affordable Care Act, which ismoving medical care providers away from fee-for-service medicine where they are paid based on volume of services to reimbursement based on the value of care they provide. This trend uses technology to manage populations of patients to keep them out of the hospital where care is more expensive with a doctor or nurse practitioner managing the patient care and not always in person. Doctors and hospitals are forming accountable care organizations, ACOs, to contract with insurers and employers.

Follow Comments Following Comments Unfollow Comments Its easy to get the mistaken impression that digital health is mired in the Gartner Hype Cycle trough of disillusionment. A recent WSJ article on the health insurance service Oscar, long a media darling, struggled to find anything more enthusiastic to say than the fonts are fantastic. Meanwhile, a NYT tech reporter has now confirmed what a NYT health reporter wrote in 2013 fitness trackers are not especially accurate. These dispatches appear in the context of a broader discussion of entrepreneurships limitations, reflected in a thoughtful essay in the New York Times magazine (discussed here ) arguing startups tend to develop pat solutions to serious problems, and in a harrowing account of the startup life in a recent Wired (a shortened version of No Exit ), also discussed by Felix Salmon ( The Most Expensive Lottery Ticket In The World ). And of course, theres Mike Judges blistering and affectionate Silicon Valley, HBOs incisive send-up of socially awkward, extremely intelligent tech insurgents, and also of the eccentric, cutthroat billionaire entrepreneurs who they must deal with, as Asawin Suebseang has nicely summarized . At its worst, the image emerges of impressionable young adults manipulated by cynical investors whose business model depends on convincing enough eager volunteers to sign up for extremely high-risk missions for the promise of glory, self-actualization, and shiny Teslas for the few who make it back. Yet, the digital health space I see evolving the full report seems appreciably more hopeful, featuring increasingly sophisticated, experienced entrepreneurs, who know how the game is played, and a set of A-list investors such as Andressen-Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, Venrock, Khosla Ventures, and Orbimed, who all (at least by this point) recognize both the opportunity and the challenges in healthcare, and feel compelled to have a serious go at digital health nevertheless. I remain especially intrigued by the opportunities for digital health in pharma, particularly given how much the industry has been absolutely rattled by the intense payor pushback to the new generation of hepatitis drugs. If the value story for these medicines can be challenged, the reasoning goes, how are most other pipeline products likely to fare? Its a non-trivial concern. Digital health technologies could help pharma companies define and augment the value story for products, and also help companies through the use of sophisticated phenotyping approaches to segment patients, and thus streamline product development. While several large pharmas are pursuing digital health activities (see this nice review from MobiHealthNews), these efforts strike me as the sort of frilly, high-profile demonstration projects that rich companies pursue as a sort of vanity exercise, to demonstrate their commitment to innovation. As such, the work tends to be interesting enough, but not prosecuted with real urgency, as if the companys future actually depended on it. In contrast, I suspect that the transformative moment for digital health in pharma will come when a scrappy, smaller pharma figures out how to successfully market a cheap (possibly even generic) drug with a sophisticated digital health offering built around it so it can be sold as a high-value solution to payors, commanding a higher price than the generic alone by effectively offering the clinical impact the outcomes of a next generation, branded product, but at a more attractive price point.
Time For Pharma To Recognize Digital Health More Than Just A Pretty Font? - Forbes

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