Digital health has hit an inflection point, says famed investor Mary Meeker

Healthcare is on the cusp of faster innovation cycles that will improve care delivery.
By Bill Siwicki
11:20 AM
Mary Meeker healthcare innovation

Digital health is set to transform care delivery with faster innovation cycles and wider consumer engagement, according to the Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2017 report

Meeker, a noted investor who compiles the annual report, explained that holds true on both the provider side and the consumer side.

Among consumers, for instance, 60 percent are willing to share health data with Google, according to the 2016 Rock Health Consumer Survey with 4,015 respondents, cited by the Meeker report. And 56 percent are willing to share health data with Microsoft, 54 percent with Samsung, 50 percent with Apple, 39 percent with, 39 percent with Facebook, and 37 percent with IBM, the survey found.

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One way consumers can share data with healthcare providers, in fact, is through wearables, especially as newer devices get more and more sensors built in.

Twenty-six million wearables shipped in 2014, 82 million in 2015 and 102 million in 2016, according to research and consulting firm IDC, the Meeker report cited. Among the most common of those last year were accelerometers, heart rate monitors, gyroscopes, and altimeters, IDC noted. 

A lot of digital health action is happening in mobile apps, of course, where countless products do everything from monitor exercise to manage diabetes.

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More than 200 million health and fitness mobile apps were downloaded in 2016, just over 2015’s 200 million, according to app measurement firm App Annie, as cited by the Meeker report. 36 percent of those apps were fitness themed, 24 percent disease and treatment, 17 percent lifestyle and stress, 12 percent diet and nutrition, and 11 percent other, App Annie found.

EHR adoption continued to dominate technology projects on the provider side, with physicians using EHRs collecting an average 26.3 clinical data elements per patient per year: 10.5 are clinical results, 4.1 are scanned images, 3.2 are vital signs, 2.9 are current or historical problems, and 5.5 are other elements such as medications and allergens, ONC found.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
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