Digital health will be one of the hottest spaces for investment, with companies raising $1.6 billion in venture capital within the first quarter of 2018 alone. Apple, Alphabet as well as Amazon are also producing moves within the space with their own health-tracking apps as well as devices.
These companies are getting truly not bad at screening populations of people for health problems before they develop into serious medical issues.
although they struggle to help patients with greater medical needs.
Medical experts say that will digital health can’t do much for users that will are already sick, or at high risk of a serious medical condition. Many of these companies won’t diagnose disease for regulatory reasons, even if they’re picking up strong signals through sensors as well as algorithms, so instead they’ll suggest that will a user see their doctor.
that will’s the case with smart watches coming from Apple as well as Fitbit, which are increasingly picking up on serious problems like sleep apnea, a sleep breathing issue, as well as atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder, although can’t do much more than steer these patients to medical care.
The glaring problem? Patients do not like going to the doctor.
Ample studies have found that will many avoid that will because the experience sucks, while others are put off by the cost.
“All the things done well by digital health — they’re simple, fun, visual with great user experience — are still missing coming from most clinical visits — so that will remains pretty unpleasant to be a patient,” said Jeffrey Wessler, a cardiology fellow at Columbia University Medical Center as well as the founder of a digital health company called Heartbeat.
“To me, This kind of gap gets closed by bringing the clinical experience up to the same standards as our digital health solutions.”
In some other words, digital health companies need to get inside the clinic or hospital through partnerships or fresh products, rather than just focusing on the experience outside of traditional health care.
Wessler will be moving in that will direction with Heartbeat which will be leveraging existing digital health solutions although also rethinking the in-person primary care experience to help people at risk for heart disease.
Others within the medical sector agree This kind of will be a serious problem that will needs to be addressed.
Digital health today will be hampered by This kind of “see your doctor” endpoint, explains Joel Dudley, director of the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare at Mount Sinai.
He believes that will the industry can move coming from acting as a “funnel or a stopgap rather than a revolution,” once the right pieces are in place.
One potential solution will be to incorporate telemedicine, or virtual doctor’s visits, into the experience of care to ensure patients can immediately get a phone call or video consult. as well as that will way, digital health companies can be assured that will they’ve at least talked to a medical expert, rather than ignored the problem.
Doctors can also learn coming from digital health apps as well as services by improving their practices to ensure patients won’t dread or avoid an upcoming visit.
If This kind of gap isn’t closed, he fears, “digital health solutions will truly just create more separation between patient as well as care provider.”