Patient Engagement

Watch: Emanuel disses wearable tech, and other Connected Health highlights

Partners HealthCare has posted videos of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s provocative Connected Health Symposium 2015 keynote, as well as some other conference highlights.

A couple of weeks after the Wall Street Journal suggested that, when it came to Theranos, the emperor might have no clothes — other than a closet full of black turtlenecks, perhaps — medical ethicist Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel had some skeptical words about some aspects of digital health, including wearable tech.

“I think you can forget about wearables for the masses,” Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said Oct. 30 at the Connected Health Symposium in Boston. “Investing in them is not going to pay off.”

Now, event organizer Partners HealthCare has put the video of Emanuel’s provocative keynote, as well as some other conference highlights, online. Find out why Emanuel said that return on investment in digital health will come from avoiding hospitalization and other expensive care.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

Also, check out this fascinating panel on the “brain-computer interface.” Among the highlights is a discussion of an implanted device that could restore function to people paralyzed by neurological disorders.

Photo: Partners HealthCare