Digital Health

Deconstructing and Modernizing Healthcare

Overview Healthcare today relies primarily on patients seeking care, and providers treating when patients know they're ill. What if our care model were flipped and therapies became preventive? Medical experts discuss the promise of telehealth and other technologies for improved outcomes.

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 suddenly changed needs.

This year’s battle with the pandemic has also further solidified how telehealth tools can turn our current healthcare model on its head and create greater value for patients. These medical consumers seek care and notify doctors of possible or worsening illnesses. Telemedicine, however, holds the potential for a more proactive, even preemptive, delivery of care.

 

Digital Therapeutics Makes Care Sustainable

Although healthcare programs and treatments are robust for in-stage illnesses, the lack of preventive treatments 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 VP for Global Research and Development at UnitedHealth Group, during a CES® 2021 session, Digital Health in 2020: Rules of Contagion.

With tools that enable remote patient monitoring and home testing, care can not only happen at lower costs and more conveniently, it can also help intervene in early stages before the onset of more serious 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 healthcare could work. And the power of those networks is amazing.”

Through the past year, Kinsa has collected data from more than 2 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, better democratizing healthcare.

 

As telehealth tools continue to advance, digital health is positioned to truly drive accessible and preventive care for 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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