The Connected Health Device Challenge

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Last week, I had the opportunity and honor to chair the Device and Ecosystem Integration track on Day 1 of the San Jose Connected Health Device Development Summit at BIOMEDevice 2016.

More than likely, my preparation notes ended up being more coherent than I was standing behind the mic.

So, I figured I would share them here.

Are we on the verge of our iPhone moment with connected diagnostics and therapies?

Thank you for joining us at the San Jose Connected Health Device Development summit. Your presence here is crucial, because in the next decade you and those you love will be impacted by how effectively we connect patients and providers to evolving diagnostics and therapies.

Unlike any previous time in medicine, we are depending on the device community to install connectivity that enables value in our healthcare system.

I'm not the first to point out that there are huge hurdles in front of our nation and our world as we grapple with how to fund healthcare. What is clear, is that innovations will no longer be measured by procedural efficacy but rather, by the value they bring to the system through better outcomes for the patients. 

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It was over 20 years ago that I first saw a web browser in action. In the decades since, we've seen the Internet revolutionize efficiencies for consumers - from transportation and travel to shopping and sharing.

Information is generated and moved exponentially faster due primarily, to improved connectivity.

Several years ago, I heard an industry expert hypothesize that medical technology adoption lags consumer tech by about 10 years.

He cited buzz around big data in the device field and pointed out that many aspects of big data had already been pioneered by Google, Amazon and others like them many years earlier.

Contrived though this paradigm is – roughly 10 years ago - the iPhone was introduced to us by Apple. This device helped ignite the demand for connected computing power that we could carry in our pocket.

As we seek to meet patients where they live, not just in the clinic, it's worth asking, "Are we on the verge of our iPhone moment with connected diagnostics and therapies?"

If so, who will lead that charge and how will it impact us?

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This feeds my excitement about today. In store for you are some great voices on the subject of connected devices.

This morning, we will learn about the influences of consumer technology in the medical device space.

Then, we will learn about the care continuum and how to design products that fit into it.

In the afternoon, we will learn more about designing for simplicity… something that seems like a distant dream for many of today's devices.

Later, we will delve deeper into solutions and approaches in the connected space by learning about wearables, wireless design approaches and finally, user-centric software.

What I love about this track is the element of design that runs through everything. The onus is upon us in this room, and our compatriots in industry, to design the future of connected health. Let's design it in a way that benefits society. I submit that this is a design challenge like no other.

Scott ThielmanComment