Savonix is very excited to be part of this year’s Stanford Medicine X conference, a technology conference that offers an academic approach to understanding emerging technologies that have the potential to advance the practice of medicine. The event offers a place for innovators and entrepreneurs to share ideas and discuss their plans to make those “far-fetched” ideas reality.
The event encourages “moonshot” thinking – big and radical ideas that will completely disrupt the industry. Over the last few years, the health industry has seen several of these ideas materialize as technology improves and individuals translate technological advances into health and medical advances.
While adoption has been slow, current market trends such as consumer participation, value-based care, and preventative healthcare are increasing the role of technology in healthcare. Several emerging digital health trends have proved they are here to stay, including:
1. Telemedicine: While distance can hinder access to specialized health care, Telemedicine, which uses telecommunications technology, allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients at a distance. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Telemedicine has allowed pregnant women located in rural areas to receive at-home clinical services, conducted by video link. Experts are hopeful that the development of professional guidelines and the shrinking costs of technology will encourage wider use of telemedicine.
2. mHealth: British researchers have developed an algorithm which learns new types of activity as they occur, enabling a wearable to differentiate between walking, running, sitting, standing, and cycling. Device makers like Apple, Xiaomi, Garmin, and Fitbit have been slowly bridging that gap with fitness bands and smartwatches that track more activities and vital signs and sync them with care management apps.
3. Cloud-based Platforms: Vendors that can integrate outdated systems of record, provide cognitive capabilities, and offer access to robust developer communities position themselves to successfully deliver digital transformation to their healthcare customers. Forrester Research notes that “The enterprise health cloud market is growing in large part due to healthcare CIOs increasingly realizing that digital transformation is necessary to advance efforts to better engage patients.”
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning: The growing adoption of artificial intelligence may become the single most important change-agent in fixing the healthcare system. Various AI techniques, such as natural language processing, are evolving at a rapid pace, creating new applications that assist medical staffs in both the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Since AI agents can learn from past outcomes, the system gets better over time. Such an application can be scaled across various hospitals or even countries, driving down the cost of diagnosis and improving quality of care – the two central blocks of the healthcare industry's new business model.
In general, the healthcare industry has been a relatively small technology spender. But given that national health expenditures in the United States accounted for 3.2 trillion in 2015 – nearly 18% of the country’s total GDP – this needs to change. Multiple sources have predicted that technology can help curb these costs and I look forward to seeing what the innovators at this year’s Medicine X have in store. Look out for Savonix participating as a Device & App Demonstration Exhibitor on Sept. 15 from 4:30-5:30pm on the 2nd Floor Outside Patio. More details here.