The Financial Times: The Growth of Health Tech Start-Ups and CES 2014

The healthcare industry, over the past couple years, has been a hotspot for technology start-ups, most of whom aim to lower healthcare costs for hospitals, insurers and patients. The Financial Times recently wrote an article on the subject, explaining that CES 2014 has grown its digital healthcare industry exhibits by approximately 40% this year. Companies are looking for ways to increase the availability of data and patient monitoring outside the doctors office.

The article also mentioned how doctors are going to have fairly different job descriptions in the near future. Dr. Samir Damani stated that “A doctor’s life is going to change dramatically… They won’t get paid for seeing someone, they’ll get paid for delivering an outcome.”

The Affordable Care Act and its involvement in the trend is another topic covered in the article. Since it is becoming more important for doctors to keep patients monitored and healthy when they are at home, companies are developing innovative ways to support that initiative.

The sick, the old and the stressed are the unlikely new target market for a growing corner of the technology industry, which is salivating over the opportunities offered by healthcare reform in the US.

From start-ups to large health insurance providers, the digital health industry exhibits at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show expanded by 40 per cent this year as companies showed off products promising to save money by keeping patients at home.

Dr Samir Damani, a cardiologist who now runs MD Revolution, said using internet-connected devices to monitor health from afar and develop predictive intelligence would change disease management forever.

“A doctor’s life is going to change dramatically, now they are going to be a maestro, orchestrating care,” he said. “They won’t just get paid for seeing someone, they’ll get paid for delivering an outcome.”

The US Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s flagship healthcare policy, puts pressure on providers to prove they are delivering the most cost-effective care. For the technology industry, this means encouraging more remote care and preventive monitoring to eliminate unnecessary doctors’ visits and hospital stays.

Even for those not affected by the Affordable Care Act, the rising cost of healthcare in the US and around the world is also providing an opportunity for companies as MD Revolution, a subscription-based online health monitoring platform.

“The economics are finally aligning. Physicians co-pays are going up, there are higher deductibles and people are more concerned about prevention because of that,” Dr Damani said.

Attitudes are changing too, with few worried about threats to the security and privacy of information about their health – despite past cyber attacks on internet-connected medical devices.

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