CES Health: The Teen Years

While many at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) had their eyes on drones, robots, and self-driving cars, health innovations are offering surprises too as they grow up in their ability to dramatically change lives for the better. Digital is ready to make an impact on the Triple Aim. The question is if these emerging technologies are mature enough to work within integrated care pathways and be experienced by patients, providers and the everyday consumer in a way that truly supports stronger relationships and leads to lasting overall health outcomes.

As people are more digitally ready and accountable for their health and health decisions, the industry is clearly in fast-forward, crafting solutions to meet the growing demand. This year, while walking the CES showroom floor and attending the presentations and showcases, the following considerations arose:

  • Digital health platforms are improving – but are still in the ‘teen years.’ We’re starting to see products incorporated into an overall platform experience but they are mostly siloed to their own product-set and specific use case. We’re lacking in fully integrated, enterprise-ready solutions.
  • The internet of things (IoT) has now moved past the “wow factor” and is seeing a return on investment through increased patient and member engagement and better clinical insights. We’re starting to see a maturity in the use of incentives, story, and data to drive behavior change programs.
  • IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) are starting to converge and when realized the results will be groundbreaking. Using advanced analytics in a meaningful way could take health tracker devices from the ‘quantified self’ to the ‘predictive self.’ We’re not there yet, but it’s on many roadmaps.
  • Behavior change, a huge area of opportunity, is popping into regular conversation. Nonetheless, the methodology and science are not sufficiently present in digital experiences. IoT experiences need to adapt to where a person is on their behavior change journey, as well as how they traverse that journey. Likewise, health organizations must push harder on integrating digital behavior change tactics into omni-channel care experiences.
  • Although a newer buzzword in digital healthcare, the power of empathy isn’t truly realized. Current experiences are designed for single audience segments and tell stories accordingly, if at all. Tomorrow’s solutions will better read specific life moments and adapt to sentiment, emotion, and motivation.
  • Market solutions are being developed from either the fitness space or the clinical monitoring space. Both want to move into holistic health and wellness but more progress is required. The gap seems to be in offering comprehensive care programs for chronic care patients that blend monitoring, connectivity, education and behavior change.
  • We’re finally moving from concept to market. Prototypes from a few years ago are becoming more usable with better fit, control, form and continuity. For example, wearable blood pressure monitors are closing in on people feeling comfortable wearing and using them regularly.

It’s an exciting time. With better form and use to drive adoption and better integrated cognitive capabilities, there is ample reason to be excited for the next level of maturation in digital health.

This is a guest article by Peter Borden, Vice President, Sapient Health.

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