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21 February 2019

How technology is shaping the healthcare industry


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How technology is shaping the healthcare industry

If you’ve read the first post in our technology series, you know which technology trends are predicted to have the biggest impact in 2019.

In keeping with this theme, today’s post explores technology’s transformative role in the vast and rapidly evolving world of global medicine and telehealth.

An era of rapid advancements

While using new discoveries and technologies to implement improved healthcare solutions is not new (the origins of aspirin were first discovered in the willow plant between 3000 – 1500 BC), modern advancements in telemedicine show just how far medical technology has come in only a few short decades.

Telemedicine, which is defined as the use of digital technology to access healthcare resources and services remotely, has experienced rapid growth in recent years. It’s also anticipated to grow at increasing rates as widespread adoption of smart devices and growth in global access to the Internet continues to drive rapid expansion.

For doctors and companies that want to improve outcomes for patients by making their services widely available, telemedicine provides the perfect opportunity. For communities that struggle with access to adequate healthcare resources, such as those in underdeveloped or underserviced areas, this also provides a more accessible way to engage with and ultimately maximise overall health.

The digital and health partnership

A perfect example of this win-win partnership is Qure Ventures, which prides itself on being Israel’s first digital health-centric fund, providing strategic innovation solutions to entities such as Discovery Health Insurance, Johns Hopkins Medicine and Janssen and Siemens.

Qure focuses on investing in emerging technologies which improve the quality and experience of patient care. Additional areas of focus include a reduction in healthcare costs for patients, creating a greater level of transparency in medical decision-making and ensuring maximum levels of health-data security.

Qure describes their approach to telemedicine in radical and profoundly important terms:

“Digital health solutions are more necessary than ever as the global population ages and healthcare demands accelerate quickly while supplies and services cannot keep pace. Investments in disruptive digital solutions lead to massive impact – now and for future generations.”

Maia Financial and Credabl have a close relationship with Qure Ventures, putting us at the forefront of some of the most innovative technological advancements occurring across the world in health care. Here we explore some of Qure’s favourite technological ventures, which have been tailored for physicians and patients, and are bound to shape the world of medicine for years to come:

TytoCare

By bundling a kit containing an Exam Camera, Basal Thermometer, Otoscope, Stethoscope and Tongue depressor with the proprietary TytoApp™, TytoCare offers the benefits of real-time diagnosis, without having to leave home. Patients utilise the tools located within the FDA approved kit, while a doctor measures diagnostics in real-time, remotely.

With global telemedicine expected to increase at a compounded annual rate of 16.5 percent from now to 2023, the opportunity to synthesize this convenience with state-of-the-art technology is attractive to patients, doctors and investors alike.

Sweetch

Leveraging the latest mobile technology, Sweetch is an artificial intelligence (AI) based platform which aims to dramatically reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia via improved decision making.

Sweetch proprietary technology turns various smartphone-originated data streams – geolocation, schedule, activity patterns, walking routes, weather etc. – into personalised recommendations that help the user to achieve their goals.

The creators of Sweetch believe that even small actions, when completed consistently, can lead to better patient outcomes. For example, an additional two and a half hours of exercise per week can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 71%.

iCON Mobile App

The iCON Mobile App was originally sponsored by Janssen Israel, the pharmaceutical subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It was designed to allow patients to report their health status in real-time after beginning a prescription drug.

Consider a common scenario: you are prescribed a new medicine for a sudden ailment. After visiting the doctor and collecting your medicine, you develop other symptoms and want to take another regular medicine you have on hand. Whereas patients may have previously googled their enquiry leading to increased risk, they could instead use the iCON Mobile App to ask their question and receive a response based on their individual circumstances.

What’s next?

Healthcare organisations, practitioners and individuals across the globe stand to benefit from the rise of telehealth, mobile diagnostic devices and health-related apps.

Companies like Qure are revealing how much room there is to grow in this emerging field, which thrives by combining the best of technology and medicine to better the lives of patients everywhere.

Whether it’s those in rural areas having access to the best care often restricted to major urban centers, or millions of patients making better health decisions on a day-to-day basis, the world of medicine is changing for the better thanks to the transformative impact of new technology.

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A version of this article first appeared on Credabl’s blog. A partner of Maia Financial, Credabl provides medical, veterinary and accounting professionals with their personal and business finance needs.

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