As I get ready to attend the Future of Health Conference in New York on October 2nd and HLTH conference in Las Vegas on October 27th, I’ve been thinking of where I see the healthcare industry headed in 2020 and beyond. As someone who has been in the industry for 10 years, technology has pivoted healthcare in a new direction.
The healthcare technology market is projected to reach $280 million by 2021, and Cisco predicts that out of the more than 50 billion devices connected to the internet by 2023, 30% of these devices will be used in the healthcare industry.
I believe that technology will act as the central nervous system in the healthcare industry that will control and connect providers with their patients for better experiences and longer life spans.
Here are the top 3 trends in digital healthcare that are paving the way for 2020 and beyond.
Personalization in Mobile Health (mHealth) and Connected Devices
With people spending almost 5.5 hours a day on their phone and 58% checking their phone at least once per hour, the shift to mobile healthcare makes sense; meet your patients where they are.
Beyond delivering convenient health solutions, mHealth centralizes critical patient health information that can be shared with medical practitioners with the tap of a finger.
On a global scale, the mHealth app market is estimated to reach $102 billion by 2023. The interoperability behind mobile health applications has had a powerful impact on the patient experience. These apps monitor and collect data about certain health conditions and send reports to healthcare providers-- all without patients having to leave their homes. This has created a new type of convenience in the realm of healthcare. In fact, an overwhelming 93% of physicians believe that mHealth apps can improve a patient’s health. Its ability to get patients in touch with their health on a daily basis and get ahead of worsening conditions is critical to longevity.
However, currently, mHealth apps are having trouble attracting and retaining users. A study found that out of the 325,000 health and fitness apps in the market, only 41 of them are successful. With 85% of these apps having less than 5,000 downloads in the Google Play store, how can mHealth improve their applications in order to survive in 2020 and beyond? Create a personalized experience.
Recently, one of the leading brands in wearable health technology, Fitbit, launched its new subscription-based app, Fitbit Care. In line with the CX trend in every industry, personalization is at the core of what makes this app a great fit for the changing market. It offers access to custom coaching and virtual care along with personalized health solutions. From weight loss programs to managing chronic disease, this app is suited for a full spectrum of users. With so much popularity in their new approach to grow non-device customer revenue, they are expected to deliver $100 million this year.
We will definitely see other competitors in the space follow suit in the footsteps of Fitibit.
The Future is FemTech
Although women are almost 50% of the population, male-dominated venture capitalist firms have historically struggled to find the value behind digital health solutions for women. However, with the rise of more women in venture capital firms and CEO positions within the tech industry, this has revived and rejuvenated investments for women-centered digital health products.
The Femtech industry is disrupting traditional women's healthcare by leveraging software and services to improve and enhance reproductive health. This industry is estimated to reach $50 billion by 2025.
Women's health has largely been neglected and misunderstood, so much that women have been gaslighted about reproductive health issues by doctors. But companies like Isono Health, Cora, Lola, Clue, and Ritual, are leading the way with technology and services that educate, validate, and treat women's health issues. Ida Tin, CEO of Clue, is working with Oxford, Stanford, and Columbia University to develop large bodies of research based on the data their app collects. In turn, this will work to change the discourse and diagnosis of women’s reproductive health issues.
With over 45+ startups and well over $1.1 billion in funding raised, the digital healthcare and services market for women will without a doubt take the lead in the next few years.
Telemedicine is Becoming a Strong Preference
Over the past 10 years, the demand to increase healthcare access and care for patients remotely has become one of the biggest trends in digital healthcare. A study by the American Hospital Association found that 76% of patients care more about access to healthcare than the need for human interactions with providers.
With 21% of rural hospitals at high risk for closing due to population decline, these hospitals are falling behind on generating revenue which hinder their ability to invest in the latest technology and services. Telemedicine is a critical digital health tool that rural health providers can leverage to provide care no matter where the patient is located. With 74% of people willing to use a telehealth service, telemedicine is on it’s way to becoming a dominant form of healthcare.
Proteus Digital Health is the industry leader in telemedicine and their technology is truly revolutionary in every sense. Patients ingest a sensor and wear a sensor patch that is paired with a mobile app. Once their medication is taken, the technology monitors the patient's medication-taking patterns on their mobile device and digital records are sent healthcare providers. This empowers patients and their families to have daily control and insight into the impacts of treatment without leaving their homes but with the comfort of someone monitoring from afar.
Personalization in mHealth, FemTech, and telemedicine will be the 3 forces in digital healthcare that will shape 2020 and beyond. Outside of providing the best technology, patient experience will be at the forefront of its survival.