The Digital Health Revolution

Mar 15, 2016


Big things are happening in Boston, reflecting the industry-wide focus on the emerging digital health revolution. Recently, MassChallenge, a not-for-profit start up accelerator opened up shop in an old distribution complex.  Normally this would be business as usual for MassChallenge. However, this particular site will only be servicing entrepreneurs looking to get into the digital health field. This is said to be a perfect pairing of Boston’s fertility for tech startups with its already successful Life Sciences industry.

But let’s take a step back here, what is Digital Health? Simply put, digital health is applying the rapidly evolving technologies and new tech innovations (mobile, web, telecommunications, software) to better impact healthcare. Indicative of how the digital health phenomenon is a move towards a more patient-centric healthcare field, it aims to transform how healthcare is delivered to the recipient. Many digital health ventures are focused on  bringing the healthcare provider (doctor, payer, hospital, pharmaceutical company) closer to the patient. These new businesses aim to create a healthcare system that creates more predictable and measurable results and better outcomes in general.

To do this companies are creating tools for improving medication adherence, as well as tools designed to gather data regarding patient outcomes. In the research space, digital health firms are formulating ground-breaking applications for managing clinical trials and collecting and analyzing the data that these studies produce. These technologies give healthcare providers access to real-time, data upon which they can form their plans of treatment. Some of these emerging digital health companies are even developing applications as a therapy for specific diseases, or in combination with a traditional therapeutic drug to show better clinical outcomes.

This begs the question, who is suited to lead these new ventures? Current leaders within the healthcare field may seem ripe for those positions as they understand the nuances of this highly regulated market. However, one of the challenges for these new Digital Health CEOS will be how to drive early adoption of very innovative technologies in a health care system that has been slower to change and adapt to new ways of doing things. As a leader in technology and life sciences executive recruiting, these are the types of questions our Partners can help answer.

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