Top 15 Companies That Are Revolutionising Digital Health
Look around. There is no doubt that we’re at the zenith of the 21st Century technology. At least that’s what the latest developments in the software and electronic industry world imply. And the medical and health industry hasn’t been left behind either. In fact, there is no other time in history when digital technology has been incorporated into the medical field as seamlessly as we can see today: also known as Connected or Digital Health.
The following 15 trailblazing companies have contributed significantly to the strides taken towards the ultimate functional digital health care.
1. Ginger.Io – Track your Digital Health with Your Smartphone
What’s a better way of tracking your health than using your phone? It makes perfect sense since you always have your phone with you, some to the extent of going berserk whenever they lose their phones.
Now, Ginger IO has found a way of bridging your health and your phone through an array of innovative and intuitive apps. Unlike other “mainstream digital health companies”, Ginger IO’s apps use portable devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets to collect data concerning their mental health and relaying it to the user through an equally smart self-reporting system.
Other than that, there is also the option of relaying the results to an external mental health expert who can keep track of the patient’s mental condition.
How does the Ginger.io app work?
In case you are wondering how their apps work, here is a quick primer on that: The company has invested a lot of research and technical expertise in tracking and studying how various people use their phones. And in the process, they have stumbled upon the realisation that there is a correlation between a person’s communication patterns and their mental health. So, in times of crises and emergencies, the app can surreptitiously alert the relevant caregivers regardless of whether or not the patient is aware of his suspected mental condition.
As we are speaking, Ginger IO has amassed data from over 6 million data points across North America alone. There are also plans to roll out the service to the international market as well.
2. Setpoint Medical – Cheaper pain-reduction therapies for chronic illnesses
Sadly, most of the chronic diseases today are not only almost inevitable but also cost a fortune to treat or manage. However, thanks to the technical know-how and the digital health approach of Setpoint Medical’s team, the company is transforming how medics visualise pain or discomfort resulting from chronic illnesses.
Their technology consist of a tiny silicon implant that can be safely implanted in the patient’s vagus nerve (found on the neck). The implant can then be activated to reduce or lessen the inflammatory reflex and in effect reduce the discomfort or pain spasms sustained when managing such chronic diseases.
Although, this therapeutic way of treating chronic inflammatory illnesses is still under clinical trials, there’s no doubt that the method will revolutionise how chronic pains are treated. Not only will the newer, digital approach be easier and cheaper but it will also be less risky and more convenient.
3. Medisafe – Connect your family and loved ones to your health circle
There’s hardly a greater joy in this world than knowing that your ageing mom or dad is safe and sound wherever your are. And the exact approach that Medisafe – a start up that started as a reminder app developer – is built upon.
The app, dubbed simply as Medisafe Plus uses a cloud-synced database to allow the user (patient) to add relevant family members to his health circle. So, at any given time, his loved ones will be notified of whether or not there have been taking their medication regularly and as directed by a physician.
Therefore, instead of calling your mom or dad every morning to check up on the progress of their medication (which is subject to a lot of inconvenience and forgetfulness), the app notifies you via text message or email when or if they do so.
In 2014 alone, an internal research found out that Type 2 diabetic patient boosted their prescription adherence rate by at least 28% thanks to the app. Additionally, more than 98% of all chronic illness patients who used this connected health app confessed that Medisafe had significantly and positively affected their prescription compliance in one way or another
4. Proteus Digital Health – The ultimate ‘digital pills’?
There is really no denying that Proteus Digital Health Co. has raised the bar when it comes to fusing technology with medicine and creating a digital health standard. Their next generation ‘digital pills’ are set to be the next big thing as far as understanding the human anatomy and using that knowledge constructively goes.
From outside, Proteus Digital Health pills look like any conventional medicinal tablets only that they integrate ingestible sensors with regular pharmaceuticals. So, when these pills are swallowed, the compounded sensor relays the exact time of ingestion or swallowing to a wearable patch. At the same time, the patch (looks more or less like a nicotine patch) captures vital physiological responses such as heart rate, rest, activity, basal metabolic rate, etc.
All this information is then sent to a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, processed and later communicated to the relevant caregiver, nurse or physician. If this idea is to materialise, there would be no need for a host of nurses to be on a 24/7 monitoring duty even when caring for seriously ill patients.
Presently, Proteus is in the process of teaming up with Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Novartis in a bed to develop this idea of digital pills further. Last year, the company’s MD announced that they had raised $172 million (~112.72 million GBP) to boost the research and development of the drug.
5. IBM – Health Supercomputers and Cancer treatment?
The label IBM is one of the trademarks of the world’s most powerful supercomputers – no dispute about that. But what happens when you harness the raw processing power of such supercomputers to cancer research and treatment? Yes, you guessed it right. You have an upper hand over the traditional way of data mining courtesy of the intuitive artificial intelligence of such computers.
But that’s not all. By making use of a bottomless well of data compiled after years of dedicated cancer studies and research, oncologists are now are now hopefully only a few steps away from the ultimate cancer panacea.
6. Doximity – Linked In for doctors
For a long time now, doctors have been forgotten as the rest of the world trooped towards technological freedom. In fact, it is estimated that there are far fewer doctors on social media than any other profession today – credit that to the long working hours and hectic schedule. However, Doximity has changed this by rolling out a social platform designed particularly for medics, surgeons, and other stethoscope-wielding professionals.
It is basically an information exchange hub where medical specialist and practitioners use to stay in touch with their colleagues or hold medically-related discussion forums with one another.
Although Doximity was started back in 2011, it is only recently that it has gained momentum and popularity. And that is mostly because of the secure way (HIPAA- friendly) the platform uses to send information from one party to another.
Of late, Doximity has been on an upward trajectory, with the company’s chief executive confessing that their returns have quadrupled in the past one year alone. There are even toying with the prospect of an IPO in the near future. Whether and how this materialises remains to be seen. However, if this goes through, Doximity could join the ranks of the few digital health IPOs we have seen in the past few years.
7. Perfint Healthcare – Robots in medicine
Perfint Healthcare, one of the biggest digital health blue-chip companies to date, has been on the frontline in setting the pace for medical robotic technology. They are now involved in designing and producing robots to aid oncologists in their work in cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment.
Since a robot is more accurate than a person when carrying out intricate medical procedures ( such as tumour surgery), doctors have lauded the technology as being revolutionary as it is valuable.
Currently, the company has produced two robotic variants; MAXIO and Robio. MAXIO is more or less a miniaturised robot assistant designed specifically to aid in cancer research and treatment.
On the other hand, Robio aids in target tumor treatment, biopsies, drainage and pain alleviation and management.
8. Lift Labs – Cancelling out neurogenerative tremors
Lift Labs is one of the few companies changing how neurodegenerative disorders are managed. And this is through specially designed spoons designed to cancel out tremors associated with such ailments. Also, the startup was recently acquired by Google for an undisclosed amount of money.
They have also developed two apps – Lift Stride and Lift Pulse. The apps, which were launched last year on Google’s play store, are designed to measure tremors when walking thus reducing the tendency to shuffle excessively especially during motion.
Now, after their merger with Google X, members of the Lift Labs team can now look forward to accessing more resources as far as the development of such cutting edge technology tools is concerned.
9. CliniOps – Transforming how clinical trials are done
It is not every day that a company seeks to transform the cumbersome way that clinical trials are conducted. CliniOps has taken a bold step by developing a computerised application that automates the process of electronic document submission and also sends timely reminders to the patients taking part in these trials.
Instead of manually checking up on patients the app does that by prompting the patients to upload photos, videos showing their progress, every once in a while. So, instead of waiting until the trial ends, the researcher can analyse problems, symptoms and trends exhibited by patients in real-time. Which, of course, improves the accuracy of the results.
10. Evolent Health – Meshing affordable healthcare with technology
Evolent Health, one of the newest entrants in the game, made its debut at around the same time that Affordable Care Act was implemented in the US. Since then, the digital health enterprise has been on an upward trajectory thanks to their business of selling software, IT equipment, and related advisory services to hospitals and other healthcare providers.
Of particular importance is ‘Identifi’ a computer program that collects, processes and analyses patient’s data automatically making it possible for doctors to waiver their consultation costs.
11. Oscar – A Better Health Insurance
Based in New Jersey and New York, Oscar is trying to improve the current old-fashioned health insurance business model. Oscar’s app allows patients to describe their symptoms, talk to a doctor, view their scheduled visits, medical history and prescriptions all in one seamless timeline. At the same time, the app can also be configured to send the user health insurance quotes periodically.
12. Zest Health
Zest Health is a mid-sized company that is also streamlining the process of acquiring healthcare insurance. By offering 24/7 registered and reputable nurse services, the company aims to reduce the time taken for a new user to acquire a comprehensive medical cover. This is also backed up by a revamped employee messaging system, in-network provision and easy access to health-related benefits, all which fall under one umbrella – the Zest Marketplace.
Nanobiosym is a Massachusetts-based company that specialises in developing handheld diagnostic devices for HIV and other serious illnesses. These devices mainly target developing nations especially those still struggling with the scourge. The machines include an HIV testing kit that can deliver results within hours as opposed to the weeks upon weeks that patients are typically accustomed to. According to the company’s top officials, most of Nanobiosym’s machines utilises GENE-radar technology to deliver results within such a short time-frame.
Although Respondwell started as a fitness game on Xbox, the developers behind this ingenious piece of technology have now conquered the digital therapy industry. Through the program, a patient can view their medical history delivered by a virtual therapist via a touchscreen interface (customisable). They can as well select their desired background, music and therapists, and the results from each session are uploaded to the cloud for analyses.
Other than that, their systems are HIPAA compliant and are compatible with modern EMR systems.
The Augmedix company utilises Google Glass to record and push data such as photos, notes and related info to EMR (Electronic Medical Records). Therefore, doctors can now free up the time spent in logging in patient’s data on slow systems and dedicate it to other useful areas in patient care.
Going by the above list, it is evident that the health care landscape is changing rapidly as more and more companies are joining the race to digitise and revolutionalise how doctors interact with their patients and vice versa. And if these recent advancements are anything to go by, then very soon we could bid goodbye to how traditional medicine is conducted.
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