Major Digital Health/Healthtech/Health 2.0 Trends for 2017 (Part 3)

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First, I will define digital health/healthtech/health 2.0 as products and services that rely on using the Internet and digital data (versus paper or physical contact/in-person consultations), to better the overall physical or mental health of an individual. This does not include medical devices or pharmaceutical.

The major trends for 2017 include using information technology and Internet, of which mobile is a significant component, to do the tasks that patients and physicians or other service providers would ordinarily do, but at a faster, cheaper, and larger scale i.e. to reach a global network without incurring added costs of time and money. Unlike in other industries, healthcare does not allow immediate and ground-breaking leaps in the use of information technology to do new and powerful things that were otherwise not already possible, for example, offering a treatment or diagnosing using the Internet.

Offering a treatment or diagnosing using the Internet.

A few years ago, as an early stage startup investor in Boston, I came across technologies that proposed to use video games to treat Attention Deficit Disorder, or rely on patterns in mobile phone usage to diagnose and manage depression, or leverage the iPhone camera to send images to ophthalmologists to diagnose eye infections in rural India, or attach monitors to cell phones as an electrocardiogram device.

These innovations tread on diagnosing and treating, and must be tempered by regulation and clinical trial validations before adopted use. This is beyond what digital health/healthtech/health 2.0 can reasonably promise to deliver, as the intricacies of the healthcare and legal landscape intervene.

The success of such innovations, measured by adoption and use in the clinical world, is yet to be seen.

However, leveraging technology to improve performance of products and services that already exist, and that improve healthcare delivery as it exists today, is a fair game for digital health/healthtech/health 2.0. This can be boiled down to some key trends.

Trend #3 – Keeping track with the mobile phone

A lot of physical barriers of time and place are broken by the mobile phone today. The mobile phone basically goes wherever you go, no matter where the data or the person who matter to you, resides.

The mobile allows workflow optimizations, such as scheduling and reminders for doctor’s visits, prescription pickup, taking medications, or accessing your health records when you’re on the go.

Secure access to data on the cloud, and on-the-go use of the mobile phone will dominate how patients manage their health matters on a day to day basis. Most likely, there will be more free services and mobile apps that enable such conveniences for patients, and make the experience of interaction with doctors and providers more pleasant and convenient.

Monetization of such conveniences has traditionally been done by collection and sale of data, which in healthcare is valuable (for pharmaceutical companies) but protected by privacy laws (as it should be).

However, when service providers such as a doctor’s office allows you the convenience to complete the medical form on your mobile while you’re waiting in the lobby, driving to the doctor’s office in your cab, collects feedback via a quick alert to your phone on your way out, or allows scheduling to happen via a chat message versus waiting on the phone listening to Muzak for many minutes, there is significant arbitrage of time and money for convenience and pleasantness of experience.

Mobile apps will enable such experiences and enrich the patient, physician, and service providers with time and workflow optimizations. Mobile apps offering several small conveniences in the logistics of healthcare delivery and consumption, will be an enabling trend in the coming years.

– Gitika Srivastava

Online Expert Opinion: Navya.Care

Tata Trusts: tatatrusts.org LinkedIn Facebook  Twitter

Tata Memorial Center: tmc.gov.in  Facebook

Navya: navyanetwork.com  LinkedIn  Facebook  Twitter

Major Digital Health/Healthtech/Health 2.0 Trends for 2017 (Part 2)

photo-effect-359981_1280

First, I will define digital health/healthtech/health 2.0 as products and services that rely on using the Internet and digital data (versus paper or physical contact/in-person consultations), to better the overall physical or mental health of an individual. This does not include medical devices or pharmaceutical.

The major trends for 2017 include using information technology and Internet, of which mobile is a significant component, to do the tasks that patients and physicians or other service providers would ordinarily do, but at a faster, cheaper, and larger scale i.e. to reach a global network without incurring added costs of time and money. Unlike in other industries, healthcare does not allow immediate and ground-breaking leaps in the use of information technology to do new and powerful things that were otherwise not already possible, for example, offering a treatment or diagnosing using the Internet.

A few years ago, as an early stage startup investor in Boston, I came across technologies that proposed to use video games to treat Attention Deficit Disorder, or rely on patterns in mobile phone usage to diagnose and manage depression, or leverage the iPhone camera to send images to ophthalmologists to diagnose eye infections in rural India, or attach monitors to cell phones as an electrocardiogram device.

These innovations tread on diagnosing and treating, and must be tempered by regulation and clinical trial validations before adopted use. This is beyond what digital health/healthtech/health 2.0 can reasonably promise to deliver, as the intricacies of the healthcare and legal landscape intervene.

The success of such innovations, measured by adoption and use in the clinical world, is yet to be seen.

To better the overall physical or mental health of an individual.

However, leveraging technology to improve performance of products and services that already exist, and that improve healthcare delivery as it exists today, is a fair game for digital health/healthtech/health 2.0. This can be boiled down to some key trends.

Trend #2 – Leveling information disparity

Access to medical information including evidence (i.e. published clinical trial data) and outcomes of patients at expert centers, unlocks the ability for any physician to make expert grade treatment decisions for their patients.

The Internet and mobile apps allow for such information to be easily disbursed to physicians, and machine learning on data allows for intelligence to be computed and disseminated to everyone, and not just the specialists at referral centers. This allows physicians in small and remote centers and in the developing world, to have access to the same high quality information that experts at academic centers have usually been equipped to access and use.

Such leveling of information disparity can be seen in every facet of the clinical landscape, where intelligent targeted search engines can make information consumable and ubiquitous around the world. Insurance companies can rely on high quality evidence and experience data to make good decisions about treatments.

Machine learning, clinical informatics, and predictive analytics of medical and patient data will dominate the way clinical decisions are made and executed henceforth.

The next post will conclude my discussion of these trends.

– Gitika Srivastava

Online Expert Opinion: Navya.Care

Tata Trusts: tatatrusts.org LinkedIn Facebook  Twitter

Tata Memorial Center: tmc.gov.in  Facebook

Navya: navyanetwork.com  LinkedIn  Facebook  Twitter

Major Digital Health/Healthtech/Health 2.0 Trends for 2017 (Part 1)

photo-effect-359981_1280

First, I will define digital health/healthtech/health 2.0 as products and services that rely on using the Internet and digital data (versus paper or physical contact/in-person consultations), to better the overall physical or mental health of an individual. This does not include medical devices or pharmaceutical.

The major trends for 2017 include using information technology and Internet, of which mobile is a significant component, to do the tasks that patients and physicians or other service providers would ordinarily do, but at a faster, cheaper, and larger scale i.e. to reach a global network without incurring added costs of time and money. Unlike in other industries, healthcare does not allow immediate and ground-breaking leaps in the use of information technology to do new and powerful things that were otherwise not already possible, for example, offering a treatment or diagnosing using the Internet.

Healthcare does not allow immediate and ground-breaking leaps in the use of information technology.

A few years ago, as an early stage startup investor in Boston, I came across technologies that proposed to use video games to treat Attention Deficit Disorder, or rely on patterns in mobile phone usage to diagnose and manage depression, or leverage the iPhone camera to send images to ophthalmologists to diagnose eye infections in rural India, or attach monitors to cell phones as an electrocardiogram device.

These innovations tread on diagnosing and treating, and must be tempered by regulation and clinical trial validations before adopted use. This is beyond what digital health/healthtech/health 2.0 can reasonably promise to deliver, as the intricacies of the healthcare and legal landscape intervene.

The success of such innovations, measured by adoption and use in the clinical world, is yet to be seen.

However, leveraging technology to improve performance of products and services that already exist, and that improve healthcare delivery as it exists today, is a fair game for digital health/healthtech/health 2.0. This can be boiled down to some key trends.

Let’s look at the first one:

Trend #1 – Increasing access to expertise

There are only a few hundred or few thousand experts in any given clinical indication/disease. These experts are limited to a few expert centers usually in large cities in the developed world. Using digital transcription of clinical information and medical reports, and the Internet via email and mobile application, these experts can provide their opinions to patients around the world.

My company, Navya, provides one such avenue for cancer patients to receive online expert opinions on the next best step in the management of their care. So far patients from 42 countries, including 20 developing countries in Asia and Africa, have availed the service.

Technology systems and online service enable the bridging of access to world leading experts who today provide opinions locally but can now also provide opinions to patients in Fiji, Mozambique, Russia, China, and in any corner of the world.

I will discuss another trend in the next post.

– Gitika Srivastava

Online Expert Opinion: Navya.Care

Tata Trusts: tatatrusts.org LinkedIn Facebook  Twitter

Tata Memorial Center: tmc.gov.in  Facebook

Navya: navyanetwork.com  LinkedIn  Facebook  Twitter

The Doctor’s Thoughts: A Medical Perspective

medical-563427_1280Navya’s new technology platform to review images is helping us clinch staging and diagnosis accurately to guide treatment opinions for patients with even more precision than before. Just this week, we had a heart crushing situation of a 20 year old woman who had undergone surgery for an aggressive advanced cancer in the abdomen. After surgery, her PET-CT was still lighting up with growths along some of her blood vessels. The patient wasn’t sure if this meant that she had residual cancer, especially since a biopsy of the nodules was nondiagnostic. Prior to our imaging review platform, we would have requested the patient to come in person to reconcile the images with the biopsy. Now, with Navya’s review of the clinical details, and our online surgical expert’s review of the images confirmed the sad news that indeed, the patient’s surgery had not been curative. However, Navya was able to immediately provide an evidence based, expert opinion recommending specific additional chemotherapy, surgery and radiation to effect a cure.

Navya was able to immediately provide an evidence based, expert opinion

We were also approached this week by a patient in Chennai with back pain, and difficulty walking, with an undiagnosed growth in his spinal cord. Our expert radiologists and neurosurgeons in Mumbai were able to confirm that a patient’s spinal cord tumor appeared benign. Navya’s evidence and experience review pointed clearly towards an immediate surgical resection of the lesion, and our experts agreed. The patient had a clear way forward with a reassurance that the images had been scoured by expert neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons, and incorporated into Navya’s evidence based expert opinion.

– Dr. Naresh Ramarajan

Online Expert Opinion: navyanetwork.com/tmh

Tata Memorial Center: tmc.gov.in

Tata Trusts: tatatrusts.org

Navya: navyanetwork.com

 

Quality vs. Quantity

umbrellas-205386_1280There are a lot of technologies out there.   How many of these are touching a patient?  A doctor?  An expert?  A family member?

Technology is the basis for results.  Without data, decisions cannot be made.  Without intuition and learning, a decision cannot be perfected.  There are a lot of technologies:  cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning, but that will not save a life.  Don’t let anyone fool you into believing that a system can save a life.  I’ve been a patient, a family member, a technologist committed to cancer care, and I can tell you that technology is insufficient and far from application-ready.

There is data everywhere.  I’ve written about this before.  But just as one does not need to know all the books written in this world to add two numbers, or be successful as an expert, there is a critical mass of knowledge that can be obtained and utilized effectively.  So don’t be fooled with vastness of data that one might possess.  Your grandma told you, it’s quality not quantity that matters.  So one need not know all the medical textbooks and clinical trials in the world to be a cancer expert, but one must certainly know all the relevant practice changing trials and have experience being an expert.

Your grandma told you, it’s quality not quantity that matters.

Ultimately, it is intent.  Why is a company building a technology.  Why is a doctor providing online opinions. How credible is it.   Does it matter that there is data on every single patient ever treated in my type of cancer, if my cancer is common or unique.  Think hard. Think wise.

Intent matters.  The use of technology with experts who want to enable patients – through a service that is only focused on patients and nothing else, requires very little buzzword technology, very focused data, a small number of true experts, a family of clinical analysts and patient advocates willing to serve patients as their own, and a large number of patients in a population that is struggling to get its basic needs met in cancer care.

Navya and Tata Memorial Centre in the Indian subcontinent, in 34 developing countries in Asia and Africa.

The patented Navya Expert System, the pioneering technology in evidence and experience-based treatment decision making and the one of a kind experts at Tata Memorial Centre.

Navya is committed to holding the hand of every cancer patient and lifting them to the same pedestal as everyone else in the world:  expert cancer care for all.

Navya is the only clinically validated end-to-end decision system in cancer treatment decision making.  The Navya system is patented and the first innovator in this field.  Use Navya at navyanetwork.com/tmh

You, your family, your friend, will always have us no matter the cancer to conquer or access to technology and data.  Access is always enabled through us, and our system, service, and experts empower for real, in a format that you can consume from home!

tmc.gov.in

tatatrusts.org