The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Health

Venture capitalist Wainwright Fishburn Jr. says there will be three phases in the digital health revolution: monitoring, organizing and analyzing, and acting.

At the Digital Health Summit at CES today, Wainwright Fishburn Jr., a parter at venture capital firm Cooley LLP, shared his view of the state of digital health today and where it’s heading.

Fishburn explained that there will be three phases in the digital health revolution: monitoring, organizing and analyzing, and acting.

We’re already past the monitoring phase, which saw the rise of sensors and wearable devices for tracking health metrics. Pioneers of that era included companies such as Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit, and AliveCor.

Today, Fishburn said, we largely find ourselves in the organizing and analyzing phase, in which firms are developing solutions to store and make sense of the data captured from those tracking devices with data warehousing, analysis, population health management, and predictive solutions. He cited AirStrip Technologies, whose AirStrip One application combines data from EHRs, medical devices, and patient monitors in a mobile dashboard, as an example of a company that is bringing this phase to life.

“They’re taking all the inputs from the various environments and putting them into a single data platform that allows the medical professional or home caregiver to have contextual data,” Fishburn said.

But that’s just scratching the surface.

“Where we are today is just beginning to mobilize what I would call the service analytics phase,” he said.

The next step, Fishburn said, is to act on that data and use it to come to a deeper level of understanding about patients’ health. Whereas today we can look at blood pressure, pulse oximetry, and cardiac data, the eventual goal is to incorporate genomics to get an even bigger picture view of our health.

Jamie Hartford is the managing editor of MD+DI. Reach her at jamie.hartford@ubm.com.

[images courtesy of STUART MILES/FREEDIGITALPHOTOS.NET]

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