Earlier this year, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner and longtime technology analyst Mary Meeker released her annual Internet Trends Report and surprised everyone by focusing on healthcare for the first time and more specifically pointing to a transformation of health due to big data and cloud computing.
Meeker dedicated 31 pages to “Healthcare @ The Digital Inflection Point” and came up with some amazing stats about how technology and the Internet are transforming the sector.
UK Digital Health
Meeker's report outlined the positive outlook for the UK’s digital health sector and noted a number of key drivers to the sector growing fast including the ability to continue attracting a range of investors and acquirers. Three examples of investment and acquisitions were quoted -
1) Babylon health raising an additional £46M
2) GE Healthcare acquiring Monica Healthcare
3) Medvivo acquiring Expert 24
Fundamentally Meeker sees technology adoption curves getting faster with every innovation, and she predicts digital health will go the same way.
Below are four key trends I believe are poised to fundamentally improve the future of Digital Health in the next 5 years.
1) Health Data Collection - Hardware enabling Software
In the last 20 years one of the biggest changes in health data collection has been the steady shift from analog to digital based systems. US Digital Health expert Michael Spitz observes "X-Rays, ECGs, blood pressure meters, and hospital monitoring devices have respectively evolved from 2D to 3D, paper-based to wearable, manual to automatic, and in-room to remote. The increasing prevalence of digital diagnostic, sensing, and administration tools has created a tsunami of health data, further accelerated by the slow but steady growth of wearables, more and more of them containing various biosensors."
2) Patients expectations - digital experience
Patients are now expecting their healthcare experience to be fully digital, similar to their experiences in other industries like retail, banking, tourism and media. Managing expectations is going to be one of the key areas of focus for healthcare providers as they start to compete for patient engagement and ultimately loyalty.
3) Trust is the new currency
The big winners in the future will be those who build trust with patients, the more information patients share, the quicker, cheaper and more effective their care can be. It comes as no surprise that US tech companies are in poll position to capitalise on trust as the new currency to encourage data collection, data sharing and data storing.
The survey above clearly shows Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Apple, Amazon and Facebook as the 6 US tech companies consumers trust the most and who they are willing to share their data with.
4) Medical devices previously only available in hospitals will be available in the home
A new generation of @home health equipment has emerged and will continue to emerge. AliveCor’s mobile pad for example connects to smartphones and provides a personal EKG. This allows you to know anytime, anywhere if your heart rhythm is normal or if atrial fibrillation is detected.
How long will it be before medical grade wearable tech and remote monitoring devices used by patients at home, effectively match the collection and analysis of data currently available in a hospital?
3 years, 5 years, 10 years??
Read the full report here - http://dq756f9pzlyr3.cloudfront.net/file/Internet+Trends+2017+Report.pdf