Why This Is Important
In a survey conducted by Global Healthcare Exchange1, healthcare providers and medtech suppliers were interviewed to explore their vision for new ways to cut waste, reduce costs, and improve patient care. Key trends were identified that demonstrate the strategic role the healthcare supply chain can play in delivering value and insight to all areas of the organization.
Trends Changing the Healthcare Industry
In a prior article, “Medtech Risk-Sharing, Services, and the Volume-to-Value Paradigm Shift” that appeared previously in Medical Product Outsourcing, a survey of hospital administrators and C-suite executives (n=85) found that hospital executives intended to continue cost reduction efforts. However, their definition of cost reduction is changing. Cost reduction is no longer solely defined as wrangling discounts from healthcare suppliers. The cost reduction paradigm has broadened and now includes minimizing Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) penalties by improving patient outcomes. This is a good change for those of us in the medtech industry that are prepared for this opportunity.
According to the Global Healthcare Exchange survey, medtech providers of the future will be suppliers of Big Data that will help healthcare organizations realize their full potential. A Mckinsey report2 review of the healthcare industry found that greater than 200 new players in the healthcare market have developed healthcare apps since 2010. Most interesting was the observation that more than 40 percent of these apps were developed for direct health interventions or predictive capabilities (Chart 1). This is a positive change for health apps, which more recently were targeted toward data management and retrospective data evaluation.
For example, Digisight Technologies Inc. has developed an app to monitor vision data using 12 vision tests for patients participating in pharmaceutical clinical trials. The Paxos platform is compatible with iOS or Android devices and can be used outside of a clinical setting. More than 30 million Americans and 125 million global patients have ophthalmic conditions that can be monitored by the Paxos platform, creating a $1 billion opportunity for Digisight Technologies (Chart 2).
mHealth Apps Are Great, but Buyer Beware
Mobile technology can help healthcare providers meet requirements for meaningful use and CMS reimbursement requirements. And though companies strive to effectively engage patients using existing mobile devices, not all apps perform as promised, according to a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society survey5 (Chart 3). In the study, 73 percent of app-enabled portals provided patient engagement with respondents, but only 36 percents of respondents ranked this engagement as “highly effective.” In addition, only 2 percent of current mHealth solutions achieve the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim of improving the patient experience, improving population health, and reducing costs. In addition, just 23 percent of these apps have peer-reviewed evidence for their claims.
How to Choose an App for Your Medical Device
In an article in Healthcare IT News6, the following guidelines were provided to help direct effective technology selections. mHealth technology should:
- Be evidence-based;
- Validate quality improvement claims within six months of deployment;
- Produce positive outcomes for reimbursement;
- Identify risk factors for patients;
- Improve workforce quality and satisfaction;
- Be platform agnostic;
- Adhere to interoperability standards;
- Sustain long-term supports and services; and
- Provide technical assistance for baseline capacity.
- Start-Up Magazine, February 2016
- 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey
Maria Shepherd has more than 20 years of leadership experience in medical device/life-science marketing in small startups and top-tier companies. After her industry career, including her role as Vice President of Marketing for Oridion Medical where she boosted the company valuation prior to its acquisition by Covidien/Medtronic, Director of Marketing for Philips Medical and senior management roles at Boston Scientific Inc., she founded Data Decision Group, now re-branded as Medi-Vantage. Medi-Vantage provides marketing and business strategy and innovation research for the medical device industry. The firm quantitatively and qualitatively sizes and segments opportunities, evaluates new technologies, provides marketing services and assesses prospective acquisitions. Shepherd has taught marketing and product development courses, is a member of the Aligo Medtech Investment Committee (www.msbiv.com). She can be reached at 855-343-3100 x102 or at mshepherd@medi-vantage. Visit her website at www.medi-vantage.com.