The Future of Digital Health

New Devices, Value-Based Reimbursement Transforming Patient Engagement


The Future of Digital Health


Post written by Kay Eron.


Evolving healthcare IT and emerging reimbursement models are driving the current transformation of long-standing care management programs, causing providers to scramble, all in a push to comply with new benchmarks.

Managing this transition in a cost-effective and efficient manner has placed greater demands and expectations on emerging technologies and mobile health solutions to help improve clinical performance, care coordination and remote access to patients throughout the entire continuum.

Health Solution Companies Step in to Fill Void, Meet Demand


As we introduce more wearable devices into the market, patients will have the ability to take a more proactive approach to managing their own health.Clinical and consumer health solution companies have their sights set on each other, with clinical solutions focused on consumer design and market adoption, and consumer solutions focused on clinical value and regulated healthcare markets.

With the Internet-of-Things (IoT) delivering edge devices and sensors in what seems like rapid succession, barriers to continuous care are crumbling. We are now seeing remote-remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions that combine and deliver both clinical value and compliance, along with consumer product designs geared towards driving adoption.

Wellness trackers, high-definition mobile devices, pacemakers, Bluetooth weight scales and continuous glucose monitoring devices are just a few examples of new solutions that are convenient and easy to use for consumers and meet the regulatory requirements for clinicians, making them a viable and necessary component of next-generation clinical and consumer health solutions.


Five Market Factors Driving Health Solution Innovation


  1. Streamlined regulatory processes – New regulatory pathways reduce barriers for new device approval from FDA.
  2. Evolving healthcare IT and infrastructure – Improved interoperability with EHR, PHR and a variety of clinical systems. Movement towards data tools and analytics platforms.
  3. Increasing use of eHealth among physicians – e-prescribing, electronic lab orders and the use of electronic tools to reduce administrative burdens continues to grow.
  4. Value-based reimbursement – Incentive-laden reimbursement is changing how providers view new business models, increase patient touch points and capture quality metrics to deliver “value-based care.”
  5. Educated consumers – patients want to be engaged in the management of their own health, with 72 percent of U.S. adult Internet users looking for health information online.



The Future of Digital Health


From 2010 to 2014, the growth of annual 510(k) FDA approvals of digital health solutions grew by 21 percent per year, according to Accenture research. They also estimate that from 2015-2018 there will be an annual increase of 30 percent per year, with FDA approved solutions tripling from 33 in 2014 to 100 in 2018.

This will extend care into the home, saving patients time and resources, while providing clinicians and researchers with insight into patient behaviors and activity through the collection of large data sets. Larger data sets will deliver more results, which will aid in analysis and the development of effective treatment options. Telehealth’s potential lies in driving discovery, not just finding a faster way to treat symptoms.


The Clinical and Consumer Health Solution Impact


While consumer and clinical solution companies still have some barriers to overcome, associated with entering regulated, clinical markets and complex operating environments, the opportunity is ripe to develop innovative devices that deliver the design, performance and clinical value that will make telehealth not only a viable option, but the preferred option for payers, providers and patients.

For payers, the growth in new devices and solutions will enable new health plan offerings. Providers will be able to extend information gathering beyond the hospital walls, using new sources of data to improve healthcare delivery timing, quality and outcomes.

As we introduce more wearable devices into the market, patients will have the ability to take a more proactive approach to managing their own health, which will speed up the self-care model by driving preventative health in rural and underserved communities.

For life sciences and mHealth, digitally-enabled devices and services will help facilitate the transition towards value-based reimbursement.





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