December 4, 2013
Will the extensive use of analytics, IT and other technologies change the cost-effectiveness equation in the U.S. healthcare system?
The rise of already stellar health care costs in the U.S. (almost 20% of GDP), threatens the future financial stability of the U.S. Furthermore, the implementation of the recent Affordable Care Act adds a tremendous load to the healthcare delivery systems with more patients entering the system. The model for healthcare delivery needs to be transformed from merely providing care to ill patients, to proactively managing the health of populations and communities. We should start thinking of patients as people, thinking of them when they are not yet sick, thinking of wellness and making sure that people are not coming to the hospitals at the first place. The use of new technologies and analytics can provide people with cost-efficient solutions and empower them to take care of their health and wellbeing before getting sick. Here we face with a need for a fundamental transformation of the traditional healthcare delivery models and health systems — systems that include complex organizations often driven by contradictory incentives. We need to flip the coin of the reimbursement system that is currently based on the old model of curing sick people.
November 14, 2013
Big data is gaining more and more popularity in many industries: from consumer products, heavy industries to studies of consumer behavior. Healthcare is still a way behind the leaders in adoption. The biggest challenge healthcare providers face so far is privacy protection. Failure to comply with privacy rules risks huge penalties. Target case (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?_r=0) is a good example of public outcry. But big data, especially if smart depersonalizing and encryption algorithms are applied, can offer both, security and benefits. Researchers can better trace causes and consequences of various illnesses, find better cures. Drug companies can better design pre and clinical trial process, physicians monitor patients and efficiency of treatments. Insurers can get access to more precise and better quality data about population, price their health insurance plans more efficiently. All in all we all are the winners. Recent advances in big data management technologies, like open source Apache Hadoop (http://hadoop.apache.org), makes data analysis cheaper, faster and more accessible than ever.
November 5, 2013
Consumerism of the younger generation drives demand for healthcare services similar to those offered by online retail stores. This demand will transform the healthcare industry. A patient wants a meeting with a doctor to become a meeting of equals: if you want to buy something at Amazon at 2am - you can, if you want to contact a doctor at 2am - you cannot. If there is a need, there should be a solution. The companies that offer flexible scheduling, One Medical Group (www.onemedical.com), ZocDoc (www.zocdoc.com) are among those responding to a growing demand and to a pressure shifting the supply curve in Heathcare through technological advancement. The market is ripe for technological disruption, and technology venture investors are competing with healthcare investors: who will drive change in healthcare first. David Mayer, Partner at Abingworth, offers some more insights into this: http://www.pehub.com/2013/10/14/tech-investors-well-positioned-disrupt-healthcare/
November 5, 2013
This year’s Digital Health Innovation Summit 2013 gathered healthcare industry leaders: founders of Scanadu, HealthTap, Doximity, CEOs of top companies in the industry as well as healthcare regulators. On of the key issues that keep industry practitioners awake at night is how to exploit opportunities offered by recent advances in big data collection and analysis. “We’ve got the data, now we need incentives to use it”, reiterated Farzad Mostashari, Former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You can read his thoughts here: http://mobihealthnews.com/27110/mostashari-weve-got-the-data-now-we-need-incentives-to-use-it/
October 13, 2013
We are extremely pleased that a company, which offers solution for kidney failure patients, is this year’s winner. Hemova Medical is a Johns Hopkins University medical device spinoff. The company designs a safer vascular access port for kidney dialysis. Read more: http://www.hemovamedical.com and http://masschallenge.org/startups/2013/1576
30 companies in Healthcare/Life Science were accepted as finalists this year, this is out of 1200 startup teams that reached final stage. Check out the full list of winners: http://masschallenge.org