Since the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. president on January 20, 2017, new policies around immigration, trade, energy, and the federal government have been put in place. Although a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, took center stage in Trump’s campaigning, no policies directly impacting health have been implemented by his administration, and the fate of health care under Trump is still unknown. To provide a recap of what we do know, we outline what has taken place on the health front in his first two weeks. In addition, based on campaign rhetoric, we outline what a Trump administration will likely mean for digital health moving forward. Continue reading
A profusion of patient sensors is joining advances in quantitative medicine and systems biology, giving health care providers more data than they can effectively manage. Focus is growing on prevention and chronic conditions, costs continue to rise, and medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S. What these problems have in common is that they are all information problems – not a matter of making big new scientific breakthroughs.
While traditional medicine puts an emphasis on affected organs or systems, digital solutions are exploiting commonalities between seemingly unrelated medical conditions. These commonalities are redrawing the disease landscape, thereby impacting medical care and disease management. To understand these commonalities, a disease-connection framework is needed between the six key facets of digital health – monitoring, diagnostics, predictive analytics, therapeutics, assistive technology, and behavior augmentation – and key conditions of today and the future. For simplicity, we can focus on 12 conditions with a wide range of causes, symptoms, and severity levels as examples. Critically, while these conditions may seem unrelated on the surface, over 65 unique connections can be made through digital health’s six key facets, thereby defining where the best opportunities lie and where white spaces exist.
Of all disease management aspects, behavior augmentation has the most connections among the 12 diseases shown. That is because behavioral risk factors are common to numerous diseases, including diet and exercise, for example. While behavior augmentation has the most connections, it ties with both monitoring and assistive technologies for the most diverse set of connections, or the most types of connections. This is not surprising, as solutions that fall into these three categories – monitoring, assistive technology, and behavior augmentation – are not necessarily required to be disease-specific, and can therefore be applied across the disease spectrum.
Looking instead from a disease perspective, epilepsy is most connected, with 17 facet-based connections to other diseases. Continue reading
Attending conferences is a key way to learn about innovations in today’s fast-growing health technology industry. In order to get a comprehensive view of the Digital Health and Wellness conference landscape, we compiled a global list of conferences in the space. In total, there are 86 conferences in Digital Health and Wellness and information on them is available here. Although many other health care conferences exist, these selected events showcase technology innovation specific to Digital Health and Wellness.
The field of Digital Health encompasses a wide spectrum of themes, including Diagnosis, Consumer Health & Wellness, Therapeutics, Monitoring, Remote Health, and Health IT. Conferences in this insight are classified according to these disciplines. With 34 events, Consumer Health & Wellness will be the most widely covered subject for health care conferences in 2016. Twenty-nine conferences will cover Diagnostics, 23 Remote Health, 22 Health IT, 15 Monitoring, and 14 Therapeutics. The graph below shows the theme-specific conference distribution (Note that a single conference can cover more than one topic, and therefore be accounted for in more than one bar.)
While Digital Health and Wellness conferences span all major geographic regions, with 52 events (or 60% of the total), the largest number of conferences will be hosted in the Americas. In contrast, only 24 take place in EMEA and 10 in APAC.
Conference landscapes serve as a representation of the focus of a given industry, and with the hype surrounding wearables like Fitbit and Jawbone, it is not surprising that Consumer Health & Wellness will be a large focus area for 2016 health care conferences. However, with the expansion of Digital Health from the consumer to the clinical setting and its increasing role in tackling traditional medical problems, expect Digital Health conference activity to shift towards disease care and treatment focus areas in the future. Diagnostics, one such focus area, will already be drawing attention in 2016 Digital Health conferences, perhaps showcasing the decentralization of health care from large hospitals to local clinics and patients’ homes, creating a need for new, more portable and affordable disease diagnosis techniques. As the field of Digital Health matures and more digital Remote Health, Health IT, Monitoring, and Therapeutic technologies emerge, expect to see fewer traditional medical conferences and a greater number of conferences covering these digital disciplines.