• Lloyd Price

The Digital Health Hype Cycle 2018

I wanted to share my thoughts on what I see as the cutting edge, emerging, developing and mature technologies from around the digital health world visualised in a "Digital Health Hype Cycle 2018" infographic.(My image is in no way affiliated with Gartner, their model is purely for illustration.)

Digital Health Hype Cycles - 2017 and 2019





Innovation / Technology Trigger

Haplotyping - The term "haplotype" is a contraction of the term "haploid genotype". In genetics, a haplotype is a combination of markers (technically called alleles) at multiple locations on a single chromosome.

Tensorflow - an open-source software library for dataflow programming across a range of tasks. It is a symbolic math library, and also used for machine learning applications such as neural networks.

Optogenetics - a biological technique which involves the use of light to control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, that have been genetically modified to express light-sensitive ion channel.

Non Invasive Glucose Monitoring - A needle-free alternative to the finger-prick test would be a godsend for many sufferers of diabetes, but the industry has yet to clear the technological hurdles.

Immuno-Oncology - the study and development of treatments that take advantage of the body’s immune system to fight cancer.

Medical Records on iPhone - Apple already allows iPhone users to store health information gathered by the Apple Watch and other connected devices in its Health app, but this is the first time a system for retrieving records from a variety of medical providers has been launched on a smartphone.

Neuralink - an American neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk and eight others, reported to be developing implantable brain–computer interfaces.

Deep Learning Contouring - a recent advancement in machine learning and artificial intelligence, extending artificial neural networks to multiple layers. These neural networks learn to mimic human behavior by iteratively improving their performance on hundreds of training examples

Captology -the study of computers as persuasive technologies. This includes the design, research, ethics and analysis of interactive computing products (computers, mobile phones, websites, wireless technologies, mobile applications, video games, etc.) created for the purpose of changing people's attitudes or behaviour.

Brain to Computer Interfaces - sometimes called a neural-controlinterface (NCI), mind-machine interface (MMI), direct neural interface (DNI), or brain–machine interface(BMI), is a direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device

Google Project Soli - a new sensing technology that uses miniature radar to detect touchless gesture interactions.

Ingestible Sensors - also known as smart pill technology. A computer chip in the form of a small capsule is swallowed, just like taking a daily vitamin. The sensor will read what’s going into the body, and transmit that information to an outside device, like a smartphone.

Peak of Exaggerated Expectations

Symptom checkers - AI asks questions about members’ medical conditions anonymously and provides a preliminary evaluation of their symptoms to assess whether or not medical treatment is needed.

HoloLens - also known as Project Baraboo, is a pair of mixed reality smartglasses developed and manufactured by Microsoft. HoloLens gained popularity for being one of the first computers running the Windows Mixed Reality platform under the Windows 10 operating system.

CRISPR - Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which are the hallmark of a bacterial defense system that forms the basis for CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology.

Non invasive imaging - The term noninvasive is used to denote a procedure where no instrument is introduced into a patient's body which is the case for most imaging techniques used.

Persuasive Architecture - more broadly within the healthcare domain, the prospective value of persuasive mobile technology is seen in changing individuals by incorporating persuasion features into the design of mobile phone technology.

Trough of Disillusionment

IBM Watson - uses natural language capabilities, hypothesis generation, and evidence-based learning to support medical professionals as they make decisions. For example, a physician can use Watson to assist in diagnosing and treating patients.

Virtual Reality - healthcare is one of the biggest adopters of virtual reality which encompasses surgery simulation, phobia treatment, robotic surgery and skills training. One of the advantages of this technology is that it allows healthcare professionals to learn new skills as well as refreshing existing ones in a safe environment

Google Glass 2 - the new, updated version of the device is known as Glass Enterprise Edition. The integrated display on Glass can be used to provide the doctor with information about the patient in real time as they perform an examination.

Path of Enlightenment

Digital Phenotype - Digital phenotyping is a multidisciplinary field of science, defined as the “moment-by-moment quantification of the individual-level human phenotype in situ using data from personal digital devices,” in particular smartphones.

Precision Medicine - a medical model that proposes the customization of healthcare, with medical decisions, treatments, practices, or products being tailored to the individual patient.

Remote Consultations - offer potential advantages to patients (who are spared the cost and inconvenience of travel) and the healthcare system (eg, they may be more cost-effective).

HL7 FHIR - Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR, pronounced "fire") is a draft standard describing data formats and elements (known as "resources") and an application programming interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records.

Blockchain - Blockchain technology applications in healthcare shows promise for solving issues such as its used in EHR distribution of data and nationwide interoperability. However, more research, trials and experiments must be carried out to ensure a secure and established system is implanted before using blockchain technology on a large scale in healthcare.

Voice technology - the idea of voice as a “universal remote control” or natural user interface in healthcare is very compelling. Voice is how we engage each other; we need to move it from novelty to a standard of care.

Plateau of Productivity

Secure Messaging - Strict healthcare privacy rules make SMS messaging a tough sell to care providers. More secure messaging is needed to meet their expectations. Similar to other messaging services, secure messaging utilizes a server-based approach which enables "secure and protected transmission of information between patients and their providers, including clinicians and their support staff.

TeleHealth - Telehealth is a collection of means or methods for enhancing health care, public health, and health education delivery and support using telecommunications technologies. Telehealth encompasses a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health, and education services.

Personal health assistants - technology has advanced to the point where computers have become superior to the human mind; they are more accurate and consistent, and they are better at processing all the determinants of health and wellbeing than even the best of doctors.

Remote monitoring - a technology to enable monitoring of patients outside of conventional clinical settings (e.g. in the home), which may increase access to care and decreasehealthcare delivery costs. Incorporating RPM in chronic disease management can significantly improve an individual's quality of life.

IOT - As healthcare IoT continues to evolve, the technology has the potential to transform patient care and improve physician efficiency.

Wearable Tech - Many healthcare providers are in tune with the wearable health technology market and examining whether wearables fit in their long-term treatment plans.

What is a Hype Cycle?

A hype cycle is a branded graphical presentation developed and used by the American research, advisory and information technology firm Gartner, for representing the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies. The hype cycle provides a graphical and conceptual presentation of the maturity of emerging technologies through five phases.

How do Hype Cycle's work?

Each Hype Cycle drills down into the five key phases of a technology's life cycle.

Innovation Trigger: A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven.

Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity produces a number of success stories — often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not.

Trough of Disillusionment: Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters.

Slope of Enlightenment: More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More enterprises fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious.

Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology's broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off.

Using Gartner’s hype cycle model I have created a digital health infographic to share where I believe various technologies are on the adoption curve.

Digital Health Hype Cycles - 2017 and 2019





London, England, UK