21% of US adults have tracked their weight, diet, or exercise online.

73% want online access to their physician.

From open scheduling to appointment offers, cost estimates, billing and payment, texts- chats- calls or video calls with physicians, patient reported outcomes, care planning, health coach, genograms and genomics, and patient satisfaction: connected health is everywhere in the healthcare value chain.

During the connected health symposium (http://symposium.connected-health.org/ ) last week in Boston, it appeared to me that there are 7 major trends for innovation in the connected health arena:

1)    Mobility and connectedness: sharing information among all players of the healthcare system (care providers, pharmacists, patients, labs…)

Some hospitals are in very remote areas, which is one of the reasons for connected health: physicians can follow their patients remotely.

Ex: HIPAA chat (http://www.hipaachat.com/ )HIPAA- compliant telemedicine & texting solution

ZappRx: http://www.zapprx.com/ connects patients with doctors, doctors with patients and patients with caregivers by building tools to help all three mobilize recovery directives and prescription information.

RubiconMD http://rubiconmd.com/ – connects local clinics to top specialists


2)    Big data: generating valuable data and integrating it into the workflow

Big data has not reached healthcare yet: high velocity, real-time data is not yet here, and as we move forward to a “consumer” world more data will flow in. Innovation in big data will take several years but will not be slow’! Big data solution providers need to address privacy, data source, quality, and data ownership issues. But the main challenge is to deal with the overload of data.

Physicians need actionable data. They must be able to take actions without looking at all the available data, or they will be lost!

Ex: EPY.IO: http://epy.io/ : data analytics tools for community health monitoring and decision-making

Explorys (https://www.explorys.com/ ) empowers healthcare leaders to leverage their data across the complete continuum of care.

3)    Patient engagement, personalization, rise of consumer – patient:

We are seeing a crisis in health supply and demand. We need for patients to be more involved in order to solve the supply and demand paradox in healthcare. Indeed, innovations in virtual care, access to personalized data, development of powerful analytic engines lead to technological breakthroughs which engage consumers in their health. This is done in particular through the design and development of customized programs.

Ex: Wellframe (http://www.wellfra.me/ ) Mobile app to connect caregiver and patients

Heart Failure Monitoring Program implemented by the Center for Connected Health to have patients monitor themselves at home (http://www.telemedroi.com/#home)

4)    Matching treatments to the specific genetic signature of each patient in a move towards personalized medicine

Human Genome Project was an enormous revolution. Now, all tumors are analyzed at the level of DNA and people are saved thanks to DNA sequencing. We are seeing more and more people coming to the doctor with their genomes in hand.

 Ex: Gene Expression Omnibus: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/

Although there are some diseases where there is a great ROI on big data (rare and orphan diseases) it remains a great challenge with regard to chronic diseases.

5)    Quantified self

Quantified self is about using the latest innovations in technology to track your biometric parameters such as heart rate, body temperature, blood sugar, caloric intake, sleep quality and other statistics, by yourself. It is about mobile phones, smart watches, adhesive patches, clothing with embedded sensors….  This is a major path to patient engagement and personalized programs, in particular to fighting against chronic diseases such as obesity.

Ex: Eyenetra: a device that can perform an eye exam –  http://eyenetra.com/

OMsignal: Embedded sensors in the apparel monitor your heart rate, breathing and activity while the OMsignal app displays your data in real-time on your mobile phone. http://www.omsignal.com/

6)     Hackathons: hacking medicine

We are seeing a bunch of new initiatives to involve practitioners from the early beginning of innovation and find innovative ways to ensure connections between startups and healthcare institutions to validate technologies.  We need these clinician-entrepreneurs to co-develop hypothesis-driven prototypes with clinical champions.

Ex: iHub: http://disruptingmedicine.org/ – an infrastructure of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in MA dedicated to entrepreneurial efforts and innovation.

Hacking medicine MIT: http://hackingmedicine.mit.edu/ – whose mission is to create an ecosystem at MIT, hosting the Boston medical community and beyond to teach entrepreneurs and clinicians the skills necessary to launch disruptive healthcare businesses.

7)    Open Innovation

Global companies focused on open innovation can accelerate corporate innovation strategies by partnering with a select set of early stage, disruptive technology providers. The result can accelerate open innovation initiatives to fulfill existing market needs or to access new market opportunities. A great initiative is the catalyst group, facilitated by the center for connected health, that brings together non-competing innovators and corporate leaders to share ideas on technology, engagement, predictive analytics and new care delivery models.

For more information on innovation in health, visit http://www.hubtech21.com/