Bet on it, live from Las Vegas at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES): the new home health hub is digital, mobile and personal. More consumers are morphing TV and video watching from the “set” to the computer and mobile platforms, and DIYing more activities of daily living. Health (for both wellness and sickness care) is transforming in this process.
This transformation is enabled through consumers’ adoption of technologies that they’re using in their daily lives for entertainment, household management, and communications. Broadband and wireless provide the infrastructure for health care to move beyond the doctor’s office and the hospital, so engaged patients who choose to do so can self-care 24×7. Applications enable remote monitoring for people with chronic conditions: there is a fast-growing array of products that focus on cardiac/health health, for example, including eCardio which focuses on arrhythmia monitoring; and, HeartMath, which helps people track and manage stress. At CES, Healthsense will discuss how sensors can help people age well in their homes; they’ve done a sound life-cycle cost study on the total costs of ownership for aging services technology deployed in a senior community. For Proteus Biomedical, “the drug is the plug,” and they’ll discuss how the mobile Internet and smart pills will personalize medicine for health citizens. IDEAL Life is launching a health tablet this week, which aims to connect consumers with health providers through cloud computing. On the telecomms front, Sprint and BodyMedia are teaming up for weight management on-the-go; you can observe in real-time streaming tweets from Nic the Intern at #NictheIntern on Twitter. Nic’s a real guy who’s walking, talking, eating, and doing the CES 2011 show keeping track of steps, calories, sleep, and vital signs (website at “FollowNicsBand“). And, the GE/Intel joint venture Care Innovations is operational, ready to learn whether “Intel inside independent living” with the GE branding will gain market traction.
Once again, the public sector leads in a health/technology intersection, and digital/mobile health is one: the Summit will kick off with a presentation from Colonel Ron Poropatich, MD, who will talk about the U.S. Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) and their fostering of bleeding-edge applications such as the Digital Warrior, Medicine in Austere Environments, and the Hospital of the Future.
The Digital Health Summit at CES is held on January 7, 2011.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: Evidence is mounting that supports the adoption of and payment for remote health monitoring. As payment models morph toward paying for performance, bundled payments for condition management, patient-centered medical homes and accountable care, financial incentives will align that support adopting RHM. The limiting factors aren’t largely technical; standards will harmonize well before physicians and patients engage, collaboratively, to make remote health monitoring a closed loop, optimally cost-effective process. 2011 is the year when RHM gets into the mainstream U.S. health scene, enabled through consumers’ and providers’ loving adoption of smartphones (which will represent the majority of phones by 4Q11). The adoption of digital health records, as HITECH incentives motivate (some? most?) physicians to adopt EHRs, will add further value to the process of connecting health, quantifying outcomes and best practices, and rewarding those providers and patients who improve health along the way.