A HIMSS Event | SANTA CLARA, CA | SEPT. 16-18, 2019

San Francisco, CA
September 16-18, 2019 | Santa Clara, CA

Is it time for a new set of criteria?

By Indu Subaiya, Co-Founder of Health 2.0

When we started Health 2.0 13 years ago, we had a dream. We wanted a future where health technologies would be user-centered, play well with others, and use data to drive intelligent decisions across all participants in the healthcare system—from patients and consumers, to administrators and policymakers. I called these our “criteria” for what counted as a Health 2.0 technology to distinguish this generation from what came before.

And indeed, today’s digital health technologies are able to personalize interactions using a dizzying array of data collected actively and passively from multiple sources to nudge you towards better health decisions, all while integrating widely with other apps and platforms across the ecosystem using APIs and FHIR based protocols. So in some domains our dreams have come true. But we’re also witnessing an era in digital health that reminds us to “be careful what you wish for.”

The ubiquity of sensors, AI-driven decision support, and data sharing agreements that might not always be transparent to the end-user has raised important questions about privacy and data rights in a new economy where the most valuable commodity is the data we generate and the information we consume. Strong M&A activity in the health tech industry and consolidation within provider and payer systems mirrors the growth of big tech outside of healthcare and further underscores the need to rebalance after the first phase of the digital health explosion.

Is it time for a new set of criteria? How will technology companies respond as we move from a world where we argued for access to our health data, to a world where we want control over our health data. How will we use the power and scale of new distribution channels, as digital health goes from apps on the fringe, to powering the platforms fundamental to the provision of care, to enhance outcomes without compromising privacy and transparency. And as we’ve outlined in our model of “technology flipping the stack,” as new digital health companies see themselves as care delivery organizations that hire their own clinical workforce, develop their own continuous data monitoring protocols and secure independent reimbursement often going at risk for the outcomes they’re increasingly confident of delivering, how will we classify and adapt to this new breed of entity?

As we adjourn the 2019 Health 2.0 Annual Conference and look towards the 2020 Conference in San Francisco, we will take a step back to assess the broader landscape of the health industry. It’s not without awareness of the wider conversation in our country around access to care, health disparities, social determinants and issues associated with cost-of-care—along with an assessment of the larger scope of health tech summits, conferences and workshops—that we forge a new future for Health 2.0. As the debate rages, we remind our policymakers that any reforms must take into account the increasing role of consumer agency, how technologies are leveraging datastreams that exceed the power of human providers and a highly distributed care ecosystem that’s now able to compete on outcomes with traditional models.

The one thing that never changes as Health 2.0 moves into the next year is change itself—and the future is no different. We look forward to continuing to work with you to build a health and wellness ecosystem accessible to everyone, everywhere.  

All the best,

Indu Subaiya
Health 2.0 Co-Founder

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