Financial Times Digital Health Summit: Disruptive technology driving transformation

Digital technologies’ continued disruption of the healthcare industry was the main takeaway from the October 28 Innovation panel at the Financial Times Digital Health Summit USA, in New York. Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ Cathy Lester, managing principal, professional services, participated on this panel with Dr. Cary Gunn, CEO, Genalyte; Dr. Babak Parviz, vice president, Amazon; Alexandra Pelletier, presidential innovation fellow, the White House; and Jon Zimmerman, global chief technology officer and general manager for clinical business solutions, GE Healthcare.

The panelists discussed how new technology trends like the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and the quantified self – a concept that people are self-monitoring and self-sensing every aspect of their lives through technology – are leading to unprecedented healthcare changes that require innovation and investment from other sectors. The panel also identified these factors as helping to drive much of the innovation in healthcare today:

  • The evolving healthcare business model -- The industry is dominated by numerous small players operating traditional business models that rely on outmoded reimbursement models. As the industry changes due to digital transformation and the Affordable Care Act, healthcare providers need to adapt and find innovative ways to provide affordable yet profitable care models.
  • Consumer engagement -- Consumers continue to drive patient centric healthcare through technologies such as wearables, genomics and big data leading to more market choices and a commitment from industry to develop these new solutions.
  • Harnessing big data -- To fully realize the potential digital health can deliver, insurers, providers, regulators and technology companies need to better align and collaborate in order to better harness big data that can be used to increase access to care and improve patient outcomes while reducing cost.

“We see the drive toward personalization in healthcare as patients want more control, and they want it on their own terms using simple, easy to use technology,” Lester said. “Healthcare companies need to understand different industries and adopt diverse business models that use enabling technologies -- such as cloud computing, analytics and mobility -- to improve outcomes and address changing patient behaviors.”

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