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Originally posted by Veta Health on October 20, 2017
By: Margaux Gleber
 
A response to “Digital Health is Dead, Says this Health-Tech Investor” by Rob Coppedge, CEO of Echo Health Ventures.


 
Our team recently came across “Digital Health is Dead”, an opinion piece by Rob Coppedge featured by CNBC. Claiming that digital health is dead is a powerful statement, especially since $3.5 billion USD was invested in 188 digital health companies in the first half of 2017. The following piece details our experience in the healthcare field that proves the contrary; the landscape of digital health is budding with opportunity and engaged consumers. Below, I highlight how the Veta Health solution takes into account what Coppedge points out as challenges in the digital health landscape, including how our digital health solution is engaging patients with chronic conditions.
 
To fully achieve a patient-centric healthcare model, patients need to be given the digital tools to take an active role in their own health.
Patient-centric is an industry buzzword, but what does it really mean? We believe that it means that patients must be given the tools to understand and manage their health in an easily accessible and digestible manner. Under this definition, patient-centric care is at the heart of our platform from a functionality and user-friendliness perspective. Patient demands drive the digital health industry, just as consumers drive other industries, such as travel and leisure. It’s simple to book a flight using a mobile app, yet unnecessarily complicated to book an appointment to see a medical practitioner. Patient-centric healthcare revolves around encouraging patients to engage to understand how to improve their own health. The growing number of smartphone users places them in a unique position to demand healthcare to work the way other digital markets work.
 
Our engagement tools enable patients to become active managers of their own health, connecting patients to “smart” care easily through their phones. Practitioners are able to view patient-entered health data on the provider platform, yet this technology will only succeed if there is high patient engagement within the app. Our patients enter on average 5 data points per day, seamlessly through blue-tooth enabled devices, reporting on medication adherence or by messaging their care team. To increase care plan adherence, patients are sent reminders to do simple tasks and symptom assessments are intelligently administered when our platform detects something concerning. Increasing visibility into the patient patient journey and helping patients better self-manage reduces negative health outcomes, and the Veta Health solutio is the catalyst for change.
 
Measuring system-wide performance is imperative for patients with chronic conditions.
We have too often come across budding companies with ambitious visions and strong capabilities, with little knowledge of the nuances of the complex healthcare industry. We handsdown agree with Coppedge that successful piloting and implementation requires subject matter expertise, outcomes measurement capabilities and political savvy. These three factors are pivotal in a successful company looking to implement digital technologies. Our co-founder, Dr. Nora Zetsche, experienced first hand the lack of transparency and gaps in care delivery while working as a radiologist, and her expertise is a valuable asset to our team. We also rely on a strong network of clinical advisors for subject matter expertise and political savvy, enabling us to meet our clients where they are. No one provider is alike and we have developed layers of clinical integration and support models to meet the unique requirements of each of our clients.
 
Our team understands that outcomes measurement capabilities is a crucial component to the patient journey, sales process and current market. For those living with one or more chronic health conditions, digital engagement tools are fundamental for patient-centric care. The direct medical costs for chronic conditions exceed $750 billion USD annually. Our analytics tools add greater transparency to health data and efficiency measures to facilitate cost-saving mechanisms for health systems. Tracking consumer experience and quality measures also matters. Providers can easily deploy questionnaires and surveys as a feedback loop that links care delivered with patient-perceived value.
 
Building a strong patient-physician relationship can be achieved with anywhere, anytime medicine.
While technology-enabled health services are part of the solution, practitioners still play an integral role in shaping patient health. We value our client relationships, which is why we utilize a hands-on approach by meeting practitioners in their clinical setting to ease the transition to digital health. For healthcare consumers, provider experience and engagement are two components that directly influence consumer ability and willingness to take on the role of managing their healthcare. Our solution enhances the relationship between provider and patients rather than replacing it through technology.
 
Physicians must build trust with their patients by administering care and responses in a timely manner for the healthcare industry to be successful. We understand that encouraging proper disease management reduces readmission rates and associated costs. Our digital health technology solution has the tools and mechanisms to support patients throughout their entire care journey, which often begins prior to seeking medical attention. Our user-friendly platforms with customizable care plans inform patients about their own health, which reduces readmissions and increases patient health literacy.
 
To Mr. Coppedge: we fully agree that solutions are needed more than ever.
The digital healthcare market isn’t going anywhere, and it is certainly not dead. The healthcare industry is constantly transforming, and the journey to reshape the current healthcare system is long-term. Looking ahead , an emphasis on digital solutions focused on preventive care is crucial, as half of chronic conditions are preventable.
 
The impact of digital health is powerful, and a recent study found that 80% of consumers would engage with digital services that help manage their healthcare, and more than a quarter of respondents listed “digital” as their preferred method of engagement in their health. Our integrated solution reduces the effort and tedium of care management, strengthening the patient-physician relationship to co-produce better health outcomes together. We believe in digital health’s ability to improve financial and social impacts. While this process is well underway, it requires transformative companies to meet the industry where it is.