Apple shares COVID screening data with CDC, digital health market to beat $350B by 2025 and more digital health news briefs

Also: A deep dive on Verily's Project Baseline; Intermountain Healthcare launches home-monitoring program.
By Dave Muoio
03:30 pm
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Apple COVID screener now updates the CDC. A COVID-19 screening tool first released by Apple in late March can now report users' symptoms, location, health background and other health characteristics to the CDC. The goal is to help the public health agency aggregate more incidence and case data, which can be used to better inform the public about the disease and its risk factors.

These data are all sent anonymously, and are not associated with other information Apple collects that could be used to identify the user.


Digital health could beat $350B by 2025. A market analysis report released late last week by Infinium Global Research projects that the worldwide digital health market could grow to $357.13 billion, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.88%, by the year 2025. Much of this expansion would be driven by expanding demand for telehealth services like remote patient monitoring, a growing prevalence of chronic diseases among the world population and the industry's increased adoption of digital health products throughout the COVID-19 emergency.

The U.S. will continue to account for the largest share of the digital health market, according to the report. However, China is poised for high adoption thanks to recent government initiatives, while Japan is already high on the list due to rapid telehealth adoption.


A deep dive on Project Baseline. Those interested in what exactly Verily's Project Baseline Health Study entails are in luck, because a review article published Friday in npj Digital Medicine now gives a very detailed breakdown of the prospective, multicenter, longitudinal cohort study's design and goals. The Alphabet company first launched the effort back in 2017 alongside Stanford Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine, with the ultimate goal of establishing a large cohort and digital data-sharing platform for precision health.

"Changes in the cadence of data collection from episodic to continuous, as well as the scale of data collection from gigabytes to terabytes per individual necessitates an updated framework to collect, organize, analyze, and activate comprehensive health information," the authors of the article wrote. "The project brings together partnerships among academia, the technology industry, non-profit organizations, healthcare delivery systems and, most importantly, people who are both healthy and ill."


Beyond the hospital's walls. A recent collaboration between Intermountain Healthcare and its spin-out health platform Castell will see new in-home telehealth-care services roll out to the surrounding community.

Patients with conditions such as congestive heart failure, some kidney or intestinal conditions, infections such as cellulitis or certain cancer diagnoses who would normally require hospitalization will be able to opt into the program, which will involve an in-hospital orientation and routine in-person and virtual home-checkups. These patients will also be provided with a remote patient-monitoring kit that could include connected equipment such as blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, digital scales, continuous heart rate monitors, oxygen sensors and a tablet.

“The hospitals of the future will expand virtually into homes to provide appropriate acute-level care. This new service supports patients who are at risk for hospitalization or complications, along with their families,” Rajesh Shrestha, Castell president and CEO, and Intermountain VP and COO for community-based care, said in a statement. 

Improving the patient experience is a central focus for providers, but health systems still have a long way to go to change the traditional role of physician as consultant telling patients what they need to do. Decision-making must be shared, says Andrew Neuner, CEO of the Health Quality Council of Alberta, Canada. For more on this topic, click here to watch the complimentary webinar "Health System Transformation: Improving Population Health After COVID-19," on June 16 at 11 a.m. CT.

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