Every year thousands of healthcare industry professionals from all around the world gather together in San Francisco for an annual JP Morgan and various biotech conferences. This year was marked by a particular event: finally Obamacare was launched. The Affordable Care Act created many business opportunities itself: this was reflected through the conference and its program. Many companies talked about big data analytics, digital health, and new evolving models of health care delivery. The conference also featured a panel on digital health. What are the key takeaways for digital health and medical device companies?
1. Anticipating big opportunities, entrepreneurs were using momentum to offer their ideas on how to reinvent the medicine: make it cheaper and more affordable. Investors were on board too: more than $2bn invested in digital healthcare in 2013. And this trend has continued over the past 2 years.
2. The shift of reimbursement system from procedure-based to value based fuels faster adoption of cost-efficient and value-improving technologies. As one of the panelists put it, we live in the era of Accelerated Darwinism: caregivers who perform well get additional dollars as reimbursement, less efficient competitors become extinct.
3. High healthcare costs, ageing population increase pressure on care providers. It’s around $765 billion that is annually wasted in the healthcare system.
4. You are not innovating in healthcare, if you don’t focus on cost and quality. Technology-enabled solutions and outsourced services are key enablers.
5. Investors face big challenge to find true big transformative and disruptive ideas among hundreds of start-ups doing essentially the same thing. The good news for the society is that the growing investments in digital healthcare, both successful and failed, will accelerate the shift to value-based healthcare with new services and solutions. The money invested will definitely have a positive impact on society’s health and wellness.