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Insights from the Connected Health Symposium in Boston

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Last week I attended the 13th Annual Connected Health Symposium, in Boston, where the theme this year was ‘Digital Technology that Cares, Bringing the Human Element to Life’.

As a strategist in Perficient’s Healthcare and Life Sciences practice, I am keenly interested in the latest innovations unveiled at this venue and their potential impacts on care delivery and wellness, which we will discuss in this blog, and subsequent posts.

First, a look at the market opportunity for Connected Health. In his keynote introduction ‘A Doctor’s Prescription for Connected Health Longevity’ Joseph Kvedar, MD, Vice President, Connected Health at Partners Healthcare, estimates the Connected Health market will be 21.5 Billion by 2018.

Many opportunities and innovations exist in this space, particularly as it relates to population health including the engagement of patients in healthy lifestyles, and alternate modes of care delivery. I listened intently as Jo Ann Jenkins, the CEO of AARP discussed digital strategies opportunities to address the 65 and older market (15% of the nation’s population). Ms. Jenkins outlined the disruptions in healthcare delivery and wellness approaches for this specific segment, brought about as a result of the way in which seniors desire to live and age. She outlined a number of Connected Health solution and service opportunities in this space, including medication management, care guidance, social engagement, behavioral health, diet/nutrition, safe living, and of course physical fitness; and predicted there will be 100 million consumers for the aforementioned services by 2020.

This helped to set the stage for sessions later in the morning, such as one that I attended called ‘Patient Medication Adherence and Connected Health: Four Companies Breaking New Ground’ and ‘The Innovators Challenge’, a review of new products and services that are potentially game changing.

On the issue of patient medication adherence, we learned of several novel approaches to this problem. Adhere Tech featured their patented smart pill bottles, which are free to patients when they fill eligible specialty medications. The technology, which is built into the bottle, is similar to that of a cell phone. The bottle sends real-time streams of data triggering customizable interventions, such as automated text messages, phone calls or instigating a pulsing light on the bottle to improve medication adherence and improve time on therapy. Medisafe featured their personalized medication management platform that integrates with Bluetooth enabled pill bottle caps which via a smartphone, streams data to Medisafe in the cloud; and we heard from AiCure and their advances in medication adherence through the application of artificial intelligence. Payer adoption of medication adherence solutions appears to be slow however, and largely driven by Star ratings and HEDIS, with solutions for HIV and Hepatitis C leading the way.

The Innovators Challenge session provided a spotlight on emerging solutions. We were introduced to a number of companies seeking partnerships, for example Care Angel, a virtual care giver, Dacadoo’s digital health score, and SilverCloud a mental and behavioral health platform. We also heard from MedAdvisor, a system that brings together the latest science and clinical trials specific to a patient’s condition, and explains the information in layman’s terms. I will write more about these solutions and others in my next blog.

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