digital health

Back in 2018 the UK signed up, alongside thirteen other nations [1] , to the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP). This global network brings together governments, digital health agencies and the World Health Organization to support the use of digital technology in healthcare. The UK is pushing hard to digitise the delivery and management of healthcare. Some surveys show promising results with the UK well into the top half the league tables, although lagging the leading group – not bad for a country of 60 million people, given that most of those above the UK have relatively small populations. The government claims the National Health Service (NHS) is currently undergoing the largest digital health transformation programme in the world, with investment of more than £1 billion a year nationally (plus more from local budgets). Recently, significant funding has been announced: £160m investment to develop new diagnostic tests using AI, £250m for a new “AI Lab”, and a further £130m for new tech to tackle key disease areas. So, it wouldn’t be hard to think that all the indicators are positive. Yet despite this investment, the NHS has been accused of living in the ‘dark ages’, and ‘lagging far behind other industries’ where ‘phenomenal leaps’ towards digitisation have happened. It’s easy to compare health to retail and banking and ask why the health system lags behind other sectors. I have done it myself. However, the comparison is, of course, not straightforward. This was a hot topic at a recent gathering with senior NHS representatives during which it was outlined that the duty the NHS has to ensure that inequalities are not introduced through digitisation, alongside the low tolerance to risk, have a braking effect on developments. Nonetheless, we need to shift how care is delivered. Through new modes of communication, this...
A new class of therapies known as "Digital Therapeutics" is predicting and transforming measurable outcomes for the future of medical care. It is reshaping the structure and management of treatments for a complete set of chronic diseases that adhere to medical interventions driven by software and delivered by medical devices, service, and medication, while collecting, analyzing, and applying real-world evidence and product performance data. Digital Therapeutics, a subset of digital health, is evidence-based therapeutic interventions driven by high-quality software systems that prevent, manage, and treat a medical disorder or disease. Digital Therapeutics often employs strategies rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy. Digital Therapeutics harness technology to supplement or potentially replace traditional clinical therapy. Various devices complement traditional treatment by helping patients manage their condition. From my experience, Digital Therapeutics tend to fall into a variety of groups, Cognitive-Behavior Therapies (CBT) that help patients change behaviors and develop coping strategies around their condition, target lifestyle issues and or a combination with existing medication or treatments, helping patients manage their therapies and focus on ensuring the therapy delivers the best outcomes possible. One of the areas that I find most interesting is that Digital Therapeutics will augment drugs by wrap-around services and data analytics to improve overall patient outcomes. I have found that Digital Therapeutics value is to target conditions that are poorly addressed by the healthcare system of today, such as chronic diseases or neurological disorders. In addition, the delivery of Therapeutic Treatments reduces the demands on clinicians' time. The treatments frequently require a prescription and can target prevention or management of a range of conditions, often chronic diseases, while collecting emerging real-world evidence that demonstrate their value in clinical terms. Today's remote advanced technologies have provided many opportunities for healthcare organizations to enhance the overall care experience, improve the health of...
Digital health has the potential to make healthcare better for patients and for healthcare professionals, as well as to accelerate the shift towards more efficient and cost-effective ways of delivering care. It promises to make healthcare better, safer, and more centred on the patient. Yet, despite this great potential, the people I speak to – including policymakers, experts, payers, patients, healthcare professionals and of course our member companies – have a shared sense that progress is too slow. There is a growing frustration that, in some instances, we have technologies that can solve pressing problems, but we are not putting them to use. So, what’s holding us back? One of the answers I hear most often is the lack of interoperability – the capacity of information systems, devices or applications from different vendors to connect and send or receive data. In a recent MedTech Europe member survey on digital, our members identified the lack of 'common standards for interoperability and connectivity' the single most important issue to address. Interoperability in practice would mean that digital health technologies could ‘talk to’ one another; they would securely share data in ways that optimise the health of patients and populations, and make care more efficient. They would, for example, enable patients with chronic conditions to send their data to their general practitioner (GP), rather than having to go to the doctor’s office; or hospitals and GPs to access the same health record to coordinate care for a given patient; or health systems to aggregate data from different sources to derive insights and enable research. Sadly, often technologies and systems cannot connect and share data. For example, hospital staff might not be able to access information held by their patient’s GP. Two hospitals cannot exchange medical records because they run on different IT systems...
Looking at the Medtech industry and their IT solutions, it's obvious that many companies underestimate the power of their digital solutions. With a deteriorating commercial climate, it's more important than ever to fully capture the value of digital solutions and ensure they're properly monetized – either directly or indirectly. But how should companies go about this? Six fundamental mistakes companies make when implementing IT solutions From our work on numerous projects, we have identified six common mistakes companies make when offering an IT solution in addition to their core product. These missteps occur all across the industry but can be easily resolved with a simple resolution strategy. • Lack of strategy and vision: In our opinion, companies often don't have a clear direct or indirect monetization strategy. Most Health IT solutions are provided free of charge or added on top to improve the appeal of the offer and increase the odds of success. A clear strategy and vision on how to integrate Health IT solutions into the portfolio is often missing. • No dedicated commercial setup: A lack of focus and poorly defined ownership of tasks have resulted in Health IT solutions being used solely as a means to "sweeten the deal." • Limited experience in IT pricing: Health IT solutions and services require different revenue models than pure equipment sales (e.g. subscription models, SaaS, licensing fees). • Unused data potential: Customer information and data captured through Health IT solutions are often not considered for monetization purposes (companies lack the knowledge on what to do with this data). • Poor value communication: Far too often, companies haven't developed a dedicated approach to Health IT value communication. They need to highlight the economic and clinical benefits to relevant stakeholders. • No integration of governance: Limited integration of business targets and KPIs...
I’ve been working with the health system and data for decades. But when my own child developed diabetes – and I was subsequently diagnosed with the disease myself – the dysfunction of the health data ecosystem came into sharper focus than ever. On the one hand, there is a mountain of data. Citizens (those with chronic conditions and those without) are collecting a growing volume of information about their health, their activity, their diet, their shopping habits and more. The trouble is that this data is dispersed through a complex system. Some of it is in your pocket on your phone. Some are housed in government databases and registries. A lot is stored by a handful of big tech companies. And another chunk is sitting in smaller random companies whose app you probably downloaded a couple of years ago. One of the things that really gets me about the scattered distribution of health data is the waste. If patients cannot access this data, interpret it, and apply the insights in their lives, they are missing out on a major driver of behavioural change. In my own life, I have embraced a data-driven approach to improving my own health – almost gamifying the challenge of tackling diabetes and surviving a cancer using sensors and apps. Everyone should have this opportunity. Indeed, given the rising burden of chronic diseases, data is a vital tool in creating a patient-centred, data-driven health system. As I write, I’m wearing a device that can alert me if my risk of stroke rises and another that measures my stress level – imagine the health and financial savings if we could prevent millions of strokes or stress-related incidents every year. But the distribution of health data also raises profound ethical, privacy and security questions. If there is one...
Jessica Shull will be a speaker at the MedTech Forum on 16/5. Find more about the programme here ! Due to the makeup of our household, I am privy to the daily activities of a gang of fourteen-year-old girls. They are all, to a one, surgically attached to their mobile phones. I've learned from them that they trust their mobile phones more than they trusts books in a library or what the high school teachers tell them. When they want to determine if a rash is contagious, or want to know why they have white spots on their nails, they go straight to their phones. This is not to say a mobile-centric world is recommended. It simply provides a glimpse of a trend we face as this generation gets older and takes responsibility for their healthcare. I live in Spain where the wait time to see an orthopaedic surgeon for severe back pain can be 90 days. A patient asking to see a psychologist for stress and depression will also have to choose between an appointment in three months, or a few hastily prescribed pills now. There is over-saturation and lack of professional staff. Spain is not the only country in Europe in this position. It is quite easy to imagine, therefore, where today's fourteen-year-olds will be looking for treatment by the time they are adults. Digital therapeutics (DTx) are digital health products that are driven by high-quality software programs and deliver evidence-based therapeutic interventions to patients to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease. These digital health products are used independently or in concert with medications or devices, to optimize health outcomes. These are not wellness or fitness apps. DTx are clinically validated and often prescribed by a physician. A few weeks ago, I was speaking with...