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E-health revolution: what does the future hold?

 

Online doctor's appointments, remote therapy sessions and the rise of wellness apps — after many decades of being analogue, healthcare is finally making it into the digital space. Innovative solutions have all it takes to streamline accessibility and become a significant part of the healthcare system.

 

The traditional ways are no longer enough

 

Head of Medical Affairs at the global health tech company Kilo Health, Kasparas Aleknavicius, says that traditional institutions (companies, doctors, universities, and researchers) keep a close eye on new digital health businesses' products.

 

"The number of people dying from chronic diseases has been growing over the last few decades", says Aleknavicius. "It proves that traditional solutions are incapable of changing the situation, as they don’t correspond with the scale of the existing problems". Aleknavicius shared his insights at Health Tech Forward, a global conference for health technology professionals, that took place on October 12-14, 2021.

 

The Founder and CEO of Stress Point Health, Sheena Pirbhai, agrees that integrating technology into healthcare is ever-important, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the old ways. "Clinicians and technology should be working hand in hand to take a broader look at the patient journey from start to finish, whether that's diagnostics, prevention or the use of new technology. We don't want to replace or disrupt the system that already exists. It's more about improving efficiency, for both — the patients and society as a whole," says Sheena.

 

According to her, it is still not easy for traditional medicine and health systems in the UK and elsewhere in the world to prove that modern solutions and innovations can be beneficial.

 

Clinical validity is one of the main challenges for digital products

 

One of the biggest hurdles in digital health product implementation is clinical validation, reckons Dr Sachin Shah, Global Medical Partner responsible for Digital Health & Devices at a multinational pharmaceutical company GSK.

  

"A lot of tools that haven’t been implemented simply didn’t demonstrate the level of clinical validity one would normally expect. The big barrier to enter the market is the universal method of clinically validating digital health products so that when these products are implemented into the traditional infrastructure, they are safe for the patients and healthcare professionals," explains Dr Sachin Shah.

 

Is the implementation taking too long?

 

While some experts believe that the arrival of a single technology-powered healthcare market with harmonized regulations might be taking too long, others argue that the rigorous methodological structure for medicine is more important than the speed of implementation.

 

"In terms of the validation and accuracy of what we're doing in medicine, more time is required", says Susan Bratton, CEO & Founder of Savor Health, a digital therapeutics company providing personalized nutritional strategies to prevent and manage the symptoms of cancer.

 

Head of Digital Innovation and Oncology for Europe & Canada at AstraZeneca, David Dellamonica, agrees with this point of view: "Making healthcare more sustainable and justified for patients is important, but we cannot deal with quality, trust and regulatory approval. In the end, the time the implementation takes is needed for our patients".

 

Last week, the three-day conference Health Tech Forward aired from Vilnius, Lithuania, gathering over 500 industry leaders to discuss the future of digital health. Featuring representatives from health and technology giants such as AstraZeneca, Roche, Novartis, Bayer, Microsoft and others, the event brought a new perspective on what leaders should be focusing on to power innovation in the sector.

 

From the rise of consumer precision health to the adoption of electronic medical records, the conference explored the latest innovations contributing to the development of digital health across six tracks – Telemedicine & Personalised Care, Mental Health, Deep Tech & AI, mHealth, Hospital Workflow, and Diagnostics.

 

The event kick-started with its side initiative Health Tech Challengers – an international professional challenge for the most promising industry startups. Out of 400 applicants, 60 companies made it to the finals and competed for the attention of venture capitalists, as well as an equity-free money prize. After a few rounds of pitching, expert judges selected CogniFit – the company developing cognitive assessment and training solutions – as the Ultimate Health Tech Challenger of the year.

 

The conference was initiated by Kilo Health, one of the leading companies in the digital health and wellness industry, and organized by Futurae Media.

 

Learn more:

 

Health Tech Forward: https://healthtechforward.com/

Health Tech Challengers: https://healthtechchallengers.com/

 

About Health Tech Forward: Health Tech Forward is a three-day annual conference that hosts top global digital health investors, entrepreneurs, and government leaders for exclusive sessions and compelling discussions about the future of digital health.

 

About Health Tech Challengers: Part of the Health Tech Forward event, Health Tech Challengers is an annual competition that identifies top global digital health tech startups in six main tracks pioneering health tech innovations – Telemedicine & Personalised care, Mental Health, Deep Tech & AI, mHealth, Hospital Workflow, and Diagnostics.