Verizon wants to use its FDA-cleared cloud platform to transform the healthcare industry.
|Dr. Peter Tippett, CMO and VP, Verizon Enterprise Solutions|
Perhaps Verizon’s new tag line should be “Are you feeling better now?”
At the opening day of the Medical Device & Manufacturing Conference and Expo Monday, in Anaheim, California, Dr. Peter Tippett of Verizon Enterprise Solutions provided a brief overview of how the telecom company is trying to play a role in improving the country’s healthcare system by leveraging IT.
“Healthcare is 10/20 twenty years behind finance in the use of IT,” Tippett, chief medical officer and vice president of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, told the audience. “It really is the dark ages.”
To that end, Verizon has developed a cloud platform to get data from medical devices in patient’s home and provide that data to patients’ mobile devices and to doctors to help in behavior change and driving down the cost of healthcare.
One big goal for the so-called “Converged Health Platform,” is patient engagement of course. And to underscore how seriously Verizon is pursuing the healthcare space, it submitted the technology to the Food and Drug Administration to win FDA clearance. The FDA blessed it in August.
So how does it work?
Regular biometric readings taken by patients are automatically gathered from their location and stored in a HIPAA compliant manner. The data is sent to both patients and clinicians in an user-friendly format.
That information allows the physician to intervene if the readings alert that a communication to the patient is required. This prevents emergency hospitalizations of patients, thereby providing the potential to reduce overall healthcare costs to treat them.
At the same time, the technology draws on gamification and social media techniques to keep patients engaged in their care. In fact, the technology has the capability to give rewards and coupons to help transform patient compliance.
“If patients respond to $10 or to a Starbucks gift card, we can do so,” he explained.
Other than transforming compliance, the goal of Verizon’s Converged Health Platform is increase the overall velocity of care – so that it’s not dependent on when patients actually go to a doctor’s office – as well as drive informed, data-driven care decisions.
Verizon and other nonhealthcare companies have thrown their hat in the ring with the overarching goal of transforming the industry using digital and mobile technology.
One slide that Tippett presented shows why.
While Verizon is interested in owning a piece of the healthcare pie and solve the conundrum of low compliance and high costs, it has no interest in picking winners and losers in terms of procedures or products.
"Our goal is not to push any intervention or procedure but foster all of them," he said.