“A virtuous cycle of innovation,” that’s how the current health care landscape is described in the recent Internet Trends Report released by Kleiner Perkins. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the report:
Data Sources Key to Health Tech Breakthroughs
Like most other innovation generators, the cycle starts and ends with data. The past couple of years have seen a growth in available data, with the report estimating a 48 percent annual growth in exabytes of health care data.This data availability stems from the adoption of digital health tech as a measurement or diagnostic tool.
HeartIn is just one of the many startups on the angelMD platform solving health care problems with this approach. The company has produced a miniature electrocardiograph (ECG) that is portable and can be used in conjunction with a smartphone or PC. Given that the World Health Organization estimates 17.5 million people will die annually from cardiovascular disease, making a cheaper, easy-to-use ECG can help reduce time delays in care.
Consolidation of Data Will Speed-up Journey to Market
As health tech like HeartIn is increasingly adopted, data sets grow and become more representative of the population, allowing companies to create more effective treatments. This growth of digital inputs has led to vast data accumulation and centralization in health care. For example, adoption of electronic health records has been trending upward and reached a high in 2015 at 87 percent among office-based physicians.
As a result, notable industry figure Nature has made efforts to foster data-sharing by launching a peer-reviewed open access journal called Scientific Data. This could result in an easier product development path as there is growing evidence that data use results in cheaper and faster clinical trials.
Data-driven Patient Care as the Next Frontier
Digital input growth also impacts therapeutics and care delivery by enabling a patient to receive immediate feedback throughout a recovery or treatment program. Products like Rimidi’s Diabetes+Me integrate all aspects of the care process to help providers make targeted treatment decisions for diabetes patients. Other companies, like Lief Therapeutics, empower the patients themselves. Lief’s product helps users manage their own anxiety and stress with the help of biofeedback technology, bringing a novel form of treatment to the $42 billion U.S. clinical anxiety industry.
Like many other industries, digitization in health care is leading to increased democratization. As this cycle picks up momentum and continues to churn, it will lower the high barrier of entry that exists in health care due to the level of expertise required and clinical trial costs.
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