Digital Health

Deconstructing and Modernizing Health Care for the Future

Overview Health care as it stands now relies on patients seeking care at their prerogative — meaning care providers can only treat patients for an ongoing sickness. What if our care model was flipped on its head and care became preventive, with doctors reaching out first?

The past year was digital health’s year to do exactly what it was designed to do — treat remotely, diagnose accurately and share massive amounts of data to improve outcomes. Telehealth adoption accelerated and remote care innovations launched, meeting sudden needs.

This year’s battle with the COVID-19 pandemic has also further solidified how telehealth tools can turn our current health care model on its head and create greater value for patients. Though patients are currently the ones that seek care and notify doctors of potential illnesses, telemedicine can pre-empt and anticipate those needs.

 

Digital Therapeutics Makes Care Sustainable

Though health care programs and treatments are robust for in-stage illnesses, the lack of preventive care is not a sustainable model for valuable care. The pandemic has taught the world this lesson.

“With digital therapeutics, finally, we are going to have the data and the connection — the connection between patients and their doctors — to actually realize the promise of facilitated self-service,” said Deneen Vojta, MD, Executive Vice President for Global Research and Development of UnitedHealth Group, during a CES® 2021 session named Digital Health in 2020: Rules of Contagion.

With tools that enable remote patient monitoring and home testing kits, care can not only happen at lower costs and in more convenient locations but also help intervene in early stages before the onset of an illness.

“Personalized medicine is all about early detection,” said Lee Schwamm, Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Not even of symptoms, necessarily, but of indicators that if left unchecked will progress to symptoms and will progress to disease.”

 

Building a Network to Build Care

For one smart thermometer from Kinsa, enabling preventive care comes from building a network through aggregated data.

“Telemedicine tools hold the promise of us going to the patient when they have a change in health status,” said Kinsa Founder and CEO Inder Singh, agreeing with Schwamm and Vojta. “That is a huge change in the way that health care could work. And the power of those networks is amazing.”
Through the past year, Kinsa has collected data from more than two million Kinsa smart thermometers across the U.S., allowing the team to identify areas at risk of more severe coronavirus outbreaks even before other medical public alerts.

The robust information system created by connected devices such as Kinsa’s smart thermometers can create early warning services and get ahead of public health crises. These tools are also more accessible to underserved communities, democratizing health care.

 

As telehealth tools continue to advance, digital health is set to be in a position to truly drive accessible and valuable preventive care and create a healthier population.

On-demand programming from the all-digital CES 2021, including Digital Health in 2020: Rules of Contagion, is now available for all to view. The industry-changing insights and announcements shared by tech visionaries at CES 2021 are key to the continued growth and advancement of your business and our tech ecosystem. With that in mind, we’ve opened the CES sessions to everyone.

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