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IBM’s Global Medical Device Business Development Leader Stephen Pierce joined last year’s 10x Conference with thoughts on wireless and wearables’ impact on healthcare.
See the replay at http://medgroup.biz/IBM-health (transcript also available)
“A great smartphone app that tracks sleep patterns and activity levels doesn’t necessarily help me to improve my health.”
But “chronic disease management is the primary opportunity we see driving healthcare transformation…. The focus is on reducing cost by taking action earlier in the process, during the earlier intervention stage or even the healthy stage.”
Do you agree with Stephen?
Is chronic disease management where the device community should focus?
Other points from his presentation:
• IBM’s “Internet of Things” initiative would take data from medical and other devices (TVs, cameras, air conditioners, energy-based devices, etc.) to get clinical vitals, activity, dietary, and social components.
• Many of Stephen’s clients want to invest in expensive acute care technologies. But in broad need areas like residential care, assisted living, nursing homes, and homecare, price becomes a critical issue. The same is true for emerging markets.
• Wearable devices are a piece of the picture [but] the real value comes from the data, the insights, and the coordination. Who owns the data?
• Consider technologies outside the wrist space, such as contact lens technology where retinal scans of patients identify predisposition towards diabetes or diabetic retinopathy.
• Creating a longitudinal patient record to filter terabytes of data to provide insights to the clinician, provider, and patient at the right time is meaningful. Effective usage of EMR data is still limited because there’s so much data and not enough time to get meaningful insight from that data.
Watch the video at http://medgroup.biz/IBM-health and comment below.
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Richard J. Scully
Ogan Gurel MD
Richard J. Scully
Richard J. Scully
Paul M. Stein
Absolutely. The best way to reduce health care cost is to keep people healthy longer. Rather than waiting until expensive intervention is required, the focus needs to be on prevention. Wearable technologies and data analytics are steps in the right direction — away from sick care and toward well care.
The smart toothbrush is the beach front. We are developing LifeBrush, our smart toothbrush, to be the sword point to lead the charge. I haven’t watched the video of Stephen yet but now I am excitedly looking forward to doing so.
Its value proposition seems to match the statement “the focus is on reducing cost by taking action earlier in the process, during the earlier intervention stage”. It looks like the platform aims to do this by seeing trends and acting on them before they result in a trip to the emergency room.
The quote above is blanket statement and not necessarily true.
The app alone may not help a patient or clinician but when sleep data is correlated with other patient driven data including current disease states, medications, exercise, etc. we have an opportunity to greatly improve a patient’s health and reduce costs.
Bo has some very valid thoughts in his post.
Based on my experience at HealthSaaS it is the thousands of disconnected data silo’s and lack of a payer reimbursement model that is significantly hindering the adoption of IoT for healthcare.
Burrell (Bo) Clawson
Targeting people with pre-chronic symptoms is an obvious winner. Right now, though, there is little incentive for people to switch habits, diets, add medications, or embark on light aerobics or other exercise.
If a system is based on incentives, like paying much higher for health insurance because you have markers for impending chronic illness, that makes logical sense. But in today’s world that would be “penalizing people” which is considered discriminatory in the WDC world of politics. Insurance at Lloyds, founded for shipping insurance, was a risk payment based on soundness of the ship and officers, based on expected losses, so it is not really “insurance” anymore.
Psychology and pressure from multiple sources must be used to get people involved with their long term health. My guess is mobile devices will help. Already, some doctors are refusing to take patients who don’t stop smoking & that is one level of pressure. Companies are doing likewise with employees.
Reminders on Post-It notes are endemic. Reminders on the body are just coming to market. Mobile worn devices will be able to start to warn people of blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar levels and more, often a decade or more before it becomes critical.
Personal monitoring may be required by insurance/healthcare providers, so corrections can be made. It will take a long term effort by everyone in healthcare to make this happen.
Thanks Joe for the great post!
I would also argue that understanding your activity levels would help to decrease your chance of developing a chronic disease. Many people have a false impression of the amount of activity/calories burned during a typical day.
We need to stop being a society/medical community that reacts to chronic disease and become proactive. Insurance should be looking at paying for preventative measures such as wearable devices and gym memberships, as opposed to waiting to pay for the $250,000+ heart operation.
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