Health IT examples

How Tech’s Impacting the Largest Sector of the Economy

The Health IT Gold Rush is on: from major players, like Google, to earlier-stage ABBY Award competitors using Big (Health) Data, telemedicine, software, and collaboration apps to lower the cost of quality care

Google recently hired David Feinberg, MD, to head their Health Strategy division.  Feinberg previously ran UCLA Health and, more recently, Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania (which operates 13 hospitals, over 40 clinics, an HMO, the Commonwealth School of Medicine, and two research centers).  So why would Google recruit one of healthcare’s superstars to head their initiatives to tap some of the $3.5 trillion spent annually in healthcare?

As Robbie Pearl, MD, the former CEO of the (Kaiser) Permanente Medical Group, speculated in a recent Forbes article: there are five opportunity areas that Google might “seize upon” under Dr. Feinberg’s Google Health leadership. First: home automation gadgets that will enable seniors to live more safely at home – think digital doorbells, thermostats, and home security. Second: using self-driving cars to help solve a senior’s transportation issues, like getting to the doctor’s office. Third, using Big Data to improve patient health. For example, Geisinger impressively used technology to keep medical tabs on every single patient within its three-million-person catchment area. Fourth, investing in the next gen of wearables and trackers – more than “jewelry,” they’d actually alert their wearers as to whether they’re OK – or not.  And, fifth, to become a world leader in AI – using artificial intelligence to make better diagnoses, and potentially eliminate an estimated 30% of care delivery that’s been proven to provide no value.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be a $110.9 billion revenue company to be a health IT innovator.  For example, eight of this year’s 10 Innovations in Healthcare ABBY Award Finalists are.  For example – presenting on December 5th in Long Beach will be the senior execs of: Catasys, which uses Big Data analytics to identify, engage and treat care-avoidant health plan members suffering from behavioral health disorders; healthPiper uses tele-technology to deliver psychiatric diagnosis, care, and prescriptions to their patients; and ImpediMed’s SOZO digital health platform enables the monitoring of subtle changes in breast cancer patient to allow early intervention/prevention of lymphedema.  And on December 12th in San Francisco, heads of these companies will be competing for a second ABBY: Atlas Lift Tech blends technology with training to ensure safe patient handling; Care3 enables caregivers in facilities, doctors’ offices, home health, and family caregivers all to coordinate care of the patient at home via an app; Help-Full uses technology to power their “community network” of caregivers and care-needy; Modio Health’s “OneView” provider management and verification platform dramatically eases the credentialing process; and NEOFECT’s Rapael Smart Glove for Home gamifies proven rehab exercises (so patients want to do them) and relates outcomes to their monitoring physician.

Just goes to show, the key phrase in business – including healthcare – remains: “follow the money.”

by Mimi Grant, President, Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization – Round Tables and Events for CEOs of Technology and Healthcare Companies