The Healthcare Entrepreneur Blog

Reinventing Healthcare with Technology

by Sarah Leigh | February 3rd, 2012 | 2 responses

Tech blogs all over the web are posting about the latest and greatest apps and gadgets designed for healthcare. Fast Company’s design blog discusses the trend in an article today, saying, “people are taking more responsibility for their wellness. Designers can help by developing health care tech that’s fun to us.” A good call to action for designers. Did you know that the next iPhone is expected to launch with a built-in heart monitor? I didn’t, either!

We’ve come a long way since WebMD’s launch in 1999. (Of course, there’s a WebMD app.) Skin Scan is a medical app for your iPhone that scans and monitors moles over time in order to prevent skin cancer. Budgeting for healthcare stressing you out?  Cake Health and Simplee help users manage and track their healthcare dollars, making sense of confusing statements and muddled insurance jargon.

The technology boom in healthcare is happening with the help of organizations like Rock Health. They are the self-proclaimed “first seed-accelerator exclusively for health startups, providing capital, mentorship, operational support and office space in San Francisco”, helping kick-start projects that are dedicated to solving a health-related issue. It’s great to see a community around innovation in healthcare. Their cause is really inspirational!

We’ll be posting more interesting tech news related to healthcare, so stay tuned!

 

 

Sarah Leigh
Sarah Leigh is a graphic designer with Vantage Clinical Solutions, Inc., a nationwide healthcare consulting and management firm located in Bend, OR and Denver, CO. Sarah specializes in branding, web design and strategy, idea-making, and marketing. She is available via the Vantage Clinical Solutions website.
  • It’s great to see sectors of the startup world starting to turn their attention to healthcare. But tech isn’t enough because healthcare doesn’t have a technology problem – it has a broken business model problem. We need more startups that disrupt current business models, and let tech innovation flow from there. Until that happens, health tech startups are just new wine in old wineskins.

  • Well said Mike – couldn’t agree more.  It’s the symbiotic relationship between technology AND reinvention of healthcare models that holds the key to getting US healthcare on track.  

    Some of the model-side developments that I think will be formative in helping achieve this are: 
    (1) Health savings accounts (HSA) combined with high-deductible insurance plans (puts consumer skin in the game which will facilitate price transparency and integrity);
    (2) Retainer-based medicine (e.g., concierge medicine, direct practices);
    (3) Technologies which link patients with providers, allowing for facilitation of timely, convenient care (see http://www.hellohealth.com); and
    (4) The use of physician extenders (nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical therapists) to address the primary care shortage while driving down the cost of care.  

    I’d be curious as to your thoughts on these and/or other model-side changes that you think will impact healthcare over the coming years.