Digital Health: Smart Devices Were Just The Beginning

November 28, 2016 Kymberly Drake

Guest post by Nicole Fisher, Founder & CEO at HHR Strategies, Inc., Forbes Contributor

As we are able to utilize advanced technology to collect health and medical data in increasing quantity and quality, the cost of providing personalized healthcare goes down. We have seen how smart phones, smart cars and smart homes are advancing the way we do everyday activities, but the impact in health is just beginning. In fact, according to a panelist at the most recent Digital Medicine Connect conference in Boston, digital changes to the health ecosystem will be on par with those caused by the introduction of antibiotics and anesthesia more than a century ago. And, as the events unfolded, it was clear that the excitement about connectivity was integrally linked with excitement about partnerships.

Health and technology experts have been highlighting the importance of partnerships for many years, but only in the last few—as digital medicine has gained traction—are we beginning to understand that for a unified understanding of human biology and to improve health throughout the lifespan, we need partners at all stages of research, development, commercialization and regulation. This cooperation could mean that not only are diagnostics and treatments better, faster and cheaper, but that individuals can become the CEO of their own health.

Because every human in their own environment is unique, a connected life can lead to a comprehensive understanding of the body. Therefore, by collecting data on everything from DNA to food to housing to medications across a lifetime, real-time responses to internal and external stimuli allow for predictions before a negative occurrence is triggered.

Watch what the experts, including Cris De Luca of Johnson & Johnson Innovation; Jared Josleyn of Verily Life Sciences; James R. Mault of Qualcomm Life; Vidya Raman-Tangella of UnitedHealth Group;  Jason D. Sibley of Flare Capital Partners, and others have to say about the emerging digital medicine sector, below.

Public and private partnerships like those by Qualcomm Health have created "co-opetition"(cooperative competition) for exactly these reasons. Co-opetition means that individuals, organizations and agencies that were once working in silos in competition with one another have learned that by coming together at the right time, costs go down and capabilities go up.

Just as partnerships span the ecosystem, solutions soon will too. Analytics and patient engagement are poised to move health from a reactive position to a proactive position in ways that we never imagined possible. Personalized and precise medicine is here. Now, with the right technology, partnerships and cooperative competition, we must make it smart medicine.

Digital medicine companies need a business strategy to ensure their innovative ideas will get to market and work together with other industry stakeholders to make the biggest impact. Make the necessary connections with decision makers and investors from the life sciences sector by attending Digital Medicine Showcase this January in San Francisco.


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