Jennifer Bright, CEO of Innovation and Value Initiative explains how telehealth technologies and digital wearables can add to the value of care for patients.
How are current trends such as telemedicine and our data wearables adding value to the overall care of patients?
Well, it’s such an interesting conversation. We at IVI, we do a lot of work in this space, thinking about incorporating new sources of data, so for example, we’re working on a major depressive disorder now, and as you know, there’s this burgeoning realm of telehealth and wearables and apps used in the behavioral health field. And so the reason that’s top of mind to me is that one of the challenges of… There’s these new technologies coming to market that allow us to bring care closer to the individual patients, which is exciting, but there’s two problems, one is we don’t have good ways of incorporating data from those types of interventions, wearables in other ways, we don’t have a good pathway to pull that data into value assessment, to really understand how does, how do these digital therapies and digital ways of delivering care make a difference to patient outcomes? So that’s one problem. And the other problem is there’s so much churn going on in wearables and apps and things like that, we don’t have a good handle on what are the metrics that we’re looking for that will tell us which thing has the most impact on the outcome.
So, a wearable is great for monitoring, you know it can monitor heart rate, monitor even A1C levels and things like that, can remind an oncology patient maybe to take a medication or to provide symptom monitoring back to their oncologist if that’s… They’re on chemotherapy or something, so there’s all these exciting ways of using that technology, but we lack a set of criteria in which we understand how does that benefit the patient, and how does that benefit the clinical outcome, and that to me, is going to create another bubble of fighting about value further down the road. Because if we don’t agree up front what’s the value to the patient and to their outcome, their life outcome, we’re not going to be able to measure it actively, and so then when we have this field of 100 different apps all of which are seeking to get bandwidth and money to be used, we don’t have a good way, we don’t have a good understanding of how to talk about the value of one versus the other.