Events, Health IT

Influx of data will change how we classify conditions

At the CES Digital Health Summit, Daniel Kraft and leaders from Fitbit Health Solutions, Verily and Akili Interactive explored how far we’ve come and where we’re going when it comes to digital health.

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As the Digital Health Summit at CES kicked off on Tuesday in Las Vegas, healthcare leaders took to the stage to discuss one of the industry’s hottest buzzwords: innovation. When it comes to innovative thinking in the health tech space, how far have we come and where are we going?

Daniel Kraft, Singularity University’s faculty chair for medicine and neuroscience and Exponential Medicine’s founder and chair, opened the session with a whirlwind presentation on the past and present states of digital health.

Looking back, the dawn of Fitbit was only a little more than a decade ago. Now there’s an explosion in the amount of patient data available, and it’s crucial to be able to connect the dots between bits of information. The field has also advanced with the rise of virtual visits and prescribing apps.

However, shiny and glamorous technology isn’t enough. “All this is exciting, but we need to have the evidence,” Kraft noted.

Following Kraft’s presentation, a panel of three healthcare leaders weighed in on how innovation will impact the future of digital health.

Amy McDonough, COO of Fitbit Health Solutions, noted that the industry will continue to explore how to give healthcare stakeholders the right data at the right time.

Verily chief medical and scientific officer Jessica Mega predicted that the increase in data is “going to change what we call certain conditions.” Building on this, Eddie Martucci, co-founder and CEO of digital therapeutics company Akili Interactive, said the potential reclassification will be particularly useful within the realm of mental health, where it’s hard to fit patients into a certain condition box. Akili has developed a video game to improve symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

On a larger scale, Martucci believes that 10 years from now, “we’re going to think it’s crazy if you walk away from a doctor and only get a single pill” or a recommendation to walk more. Instead, the landscape for prescriptions and other assistance will be much broader.

Still, it’s challenging to predict exactly what the year 2029 will bring in terms of digital health. Perhaps it’s best to wrap up with a Bill Gates quote that Kraft shared: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10 years.”

Photo: ipopba, Getty Images