Personal Health Monitoring Becomes Outcome-Driven

Robert Lord
Aug 25, 2020 · 3 min read

This is part 7 of our eight-part series on the future of digital health. Check out our full white paper here if you want to see our complete vision for healthcare in the 2020s.

Pioneers in this personal health digital space began to emerge in the early 2010s, such as Omada Health and Welldoc, which were purely software-driven. Similarly, wearables like Fitbit had an incredibly hot streak for quite a while, though they ultimately generated disappointing returns in their first generation, as real health outcome improvements were never truly realized.

As with other trends in moving aspects of health care and monitoring into the home or out of the hospital, personal health baselines will be established using digital means and this will be monitored frequently/continuously to allow more preventive care to take place. This will start with people who have serious illnesses, but may evolve into proactively monitoring “wellness” using very similar technologies and platforms. Combining more granular monitoring of physiology with the aforementioned trends in home diagnostics means that healthcare may finally have the data that can drive meaningful analytics and interventions to prevent illness, the ultimate goal of any population health-centric system.

While one can readily see investments in this space from such corporate juggernauts as Apple and Google, there remains an enormous amount of white space in this realm. In every space from nutrition, to the social determinants of health, to biomarkers, opportunities for personal monitoring and data that may be relevant to prevention and treatment, abound. In addition, we will inevitably see these data sources integrate with our aforementioned care managers and population health systems, and the means to perform these integrations and ensure action on significant findings is key.

We see much of this change initially happening in the self-insured employer space, with these types of interventions becoming applicable to payers and Accountable Care Organization (ACO) -style institutions over time as these become more common. Essentially, those groups that have both 1) the strongest immediate incentives for cost reduction and 2) the ability to move quickly from a decision-making standpoint will be the earliest adopters of this next wave of technology.

We are looking for the next generation of companies that look at wellness and healthcare from a more complete perspective — those companies that are developing value-added devices from the ground up, but building business models that are focused on tangible, patient relevant and savings-generating outcomes. The fusion of modern hardware and software into true, holistic personal health devices that capture novel, hard-to-measure metrics will create a whole new therapeutic and preventative approaches, and we are excited to see data-driven advances that move this goal forward.

If you found this interesting, check out the full white paper, Eight Drivers of Digital Health in the 2020s, a comprehensive look at how LionBird views the future of digital health.


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