Is the Digital Health Bubble Bursting? Health 2.0 Weighs In

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Health 2.0, a HIMSS innovation company, has grown rapidly as a global movement that brings together over 100,000 entrepreneurs, developers and stakeholders across the healthcare industry. Each year, Health 2.0 hosts its signature event, Health 2.0, in Santa Clara, California, which showcases a running theme of ‘What’s next in health tech.’

Eager to learn the details, we sat down with Indu Subaiya, executive vice president at HIMSS and co-founder and chief executive officer of Health 2.0, who heads the organization’s efforts to scout new technologies and initiatives driving sustainable change in today’s healthcare landscape. Here’s what she had to say.

What’s next in health tech?

Indu: We’re seeing this ‘war of the clouds,’ which is the idea that as health data moves into these cloud-based systems, there’s a real question of how that health data is being stored and accessed, and who controls the access and flow of that data. Cloud-based platforms and app stores attached to EMRs are becoming more common than ever. So this year, there will be a deeper dive into how the war of the clouds play out when it comes to health care data, and how health systems and health tech organizations think about their partnerships and the resources for managing healthcare data.

We’ll be looking very closely at digital therapeutics this year and featuring companies using a combination of technology platform-based coaching. There will be a lot of discussion around virtual communications between patients and providers and how this can potentially demonstrate better impact on health outcomes – versus traditional in-person visits and traditional pharmaceutical profiles. It’s a field that’s growing very quickly and so we’re really excited about showing our attendees new approaches to health with tailored, outcome-based platforms.

We’ll also be taking a hard look at the role of delivery models. So, how is healthcare delivered – and the idea that there are entirely new models are emerging entirely from the ground up. And if that’s the case, what does the payment side look like for these models? We’ll talk more about this in a panel on care delivery, where we’ll discuss how different companies are filling gaps in the marketplace that current care delivery providers are not meeting. I think attendees will be interested to learn more about this, especially with some perspectives featured by players outside the traditional healthcare delivery system, like functional medicine enterprises.

Watch Indu Subaiya talk with HIMSSTV about how data and tech are supporting patients ‘at home’ which is really everywhere and how we interface with technology will become part of healthcare.

Health 2.0 has garnered lots of attention with the 3.5 minute model for tech demos – what’s that all about?

Indu: The origin of this idea was that many conferences showcase ideas – which is great, and really important, but at Health 2.0 we make a point to focus more on the solutions and their practical implementation. The tech demo is a way to show products in action – no slide decks or videos – which showcase the real user experience, as well as the product’s impact. Also, it needs to be here now, not something being planned out for the future.

The idea behind this three and a half minute model was to sort of hold the tech industry’s feet to the fire. The short time requirement keeps attendees engaged, and it’s evolved over the years as a really effective format to give that high-level functionality of the product. You can always read the whitepaper later to get a deeper dive, or meet the company in the exhibit hall. But we want to give the demo audience – in a very short amount of time – to give a sense of what the actual tools in action look like today.

What other topics will be addressed that should be top-of-mind for providers?

Indu: There’s this phrase ‘health happens everywhere’ which is the idea that providers have to find new ways to partner outside their own walls, because care needs to be delivered wherever people are. Whether that means partnerships with large technology companies or smaller, local community organizations, or whether that’s partnerships with pharma companies around chronic disease management, for example.

There will be a lot of emphasis on our call to innovate and partner together, thinking collaboratively about how healthcare occurs outside the walls of their own organization. A lot of models at Health 2.0 will show how that’s possible: models for integration, new technology models for developing new technology and other ways to deploy innovation so you can reach the people you need to reach.

RELATED: Health 2.0 Tackles The ‘Unacceptables’ of Healthcare

The social determinants of health will definitely be addressed, such as the ways technology can help systems and providers address problems they may not be able to address in a 15 minute visit. Companies in attendance focus on transportation, social services, data directories and are helping address this issue through creating additional avenues for people to go to appointments, maintain their health regime, etc. All of those tools will be very important for healthcare systems to become more aware of.

Another key message will be focused on the ever-changing nature of business models, financial models and how providers need to address the changes and what they can do for those models to stay sustainable amidst these changes. Of course, technology is a huge part of that.

Any other takeaways?

Indu: Just the fact that I think many people right now are asking, is the digital health bubble bursting? Do we need new digital health companies? And I think that what we’re seeing is not only is that bubble not bursting, it’s growing. What we’re seeing is really the beginning of health technology being deployed at scale with real-world evidence and real-world outcomes that are being tracked. I think that’s the biggest message I’d like the audience to walk away with – is that there’s a growing evidence base for the impact of digital health technology on patient outcomes.


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Updated December 31, 2018