01.10.19

Digital Health Summit 2019: Key Takeaways

Yesterday (Wednesday, January 9th) we wrapped up the 2019 Digital Health Summit here at CES Las Vegas. We heard from leaders throughout the healthcare ecosystem about what technologies are driving change in healthcare delivery and management, and what their companies are focusing on as we enter the new year. If you haven’t yet, read our last post Why We’re Excited for CES 2019! Otherwise, keep reading for some of our key takeaways from the summit:

Working with Regulators

While the push and pull between regulatory bodies and digital innovators in healthcare continues, digital health leaders are recognizing the need for engagement with the FDA, and other global regulatory bodies, to help inform the approval processes for developers of digital therapeutics. With the introduction of the pre-certification pilot program, and new regulatory frameworks for digital therapeutics and tools, the FDA has made a commitment to the industry to adapt their processes for the sake of quickly introducing new, powerful, life-saving technologies.

It’s now time for developers of digital therapeutics to bring their expertise to the table in order to accelerate the learning process for regulators. Leaders from throughout healthcare, at least those who took the stage at the 2019 Digital Health Summit, are acknowledging their responsibility for providing those expertise to regulators, and their part to play in the development of well designed regulatory pathways for digital therapeutics. The importance of partnerships was an idea that permeated every session at the Digital Health Summit, and if we’re going to effectively and safely manage the entrance of new digital therapeutics to the healthcare marketplace, no partnership is more important than this one.

Consumer Tech is Teaching, Healthcare is Learning

One of the overarching topics that we were most excited to engage with at the 2019 Digital Health Summit was the broad consumerization of healthcare. How are industry leaders conceptualizing the move of healthcare into big retail and the influence of consumer-first healthcare models?

One thing that’s becoming apparent is that consumer tech’s strong focus on user experience design is following their products into the healthcare ecosystem. From clinical trials to chronic disease management, new and emerging digital technologies can only truly transform the industry for the better if they’re paired with thoughtful, consumer-centric service models, and leverage the value of experienced human practitioners.

The Future is Bright

According to Geoffrey Star, partner at Cooley LLP, a venture capital firm who engages Digital Health clients around the globe, funding for new Digital Health ventures rose to $8.1B in 2018. This is a 42% increase from 2017 ($5.7B). Not only did funding increase, but most of that increase came from repeat investors, and time between funding rounds for digital health companies accelerated. While we can’t completely predict what 2019 has in store for digital health, confidence in this growing segment of healthcare is well-warranted.

Disruptive Innovations in Healthcare

Today kicks off the “Disruptive Innovations in Healthcare” track, where medical professionals can earn CME Credits at CES by exposing themselves to the latest and greatest in digital healthcare innovations. We’re excited to continue engaging audience members, exhibitors, and session leaders to explore the digital health outlook for 2019 and beyond. Stay tuned as we share our learning from the rest of the conference!

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