Partners' Kvedar to tackle physician adoption challenges at next week's Connected Health Conference

How will the rise of nontraditional healthcare offerings like telemedicine affect the traditional healthcare system?
By Jonah Comstock
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Partners Health VP of Connected Health Dr. Joseph Kvedar has been giving the keynote for 16 years at the Connected Health Conference in Boston and the Partners Connected Health Symposium, one of CHC’s predecessor events.

Each year, the show has focused on up-and-coming technology trends in the world of connected health.

“People tell me that — and have told me year after year for almost as long as we’ve been doing this — that they felt like that was the place to go where you could really have an in-depth, thoughtful, critical discussion about where the field is going,” Kvedar told MobiHealthNews.

But this year, Kvedar’s talk will focus not just on upcoming technology, but on the role physicians have to play to see that that technology gets adopted — and what risks they’re taking if they don’t.

“We’re at a point now in history where we’re starting to see the developments of nontraditional healthcare delivery-type systems, whether it be Teladoc or MDLive, or American Well and their relationships with payers. Payers now consider [telemedicine] a stay-in-business application,” Kvedar said. “I’d be willing to bet you have easy access to telemedicine either through your insurer or, if you want to pay out of pocket, through CVS or Walgreens. But you won’t get your doctor.”

When physicians don’t make convenient care available through technology to their patients, those patients go elsewhere, Kvedar said. He wants to use his platform to encourage doctors and health systems not to fall behind, because they have a critical role to play in their own patients’ care.

“In the case of our health, when we run into these challenges, we need a doctor’s advice,” he said. “You can Google it, you can read about it, but at some point you need someone with that experience and wisdom to give you advice, and it’s better if it’s all integrated and it’s connected and that person knows you. So while we have a plethora of telemedicine solutions that are all very specific — like Hims or Roman, those are not bad things and I’m happy about all of them — but we’re not integrating them into the individual care path and we need to do better with that.”

Kvedar’s talk will slot into a three-day program (plus a Tuesday pre-conference day) built around the theme of “designing for healthy habits and better outcomes”. That will include talks from Emerald cofounder, MIT professor and McArthur Genius Award-winner Dina Katabi; Muse cofounder Ariel Gartner; Lark CEO Julia Hu; and “World’s Most Connected Man” Chris Dancy.

“Most of our regulars come expecting to get a glimpse of where the market’s going in the next five years,” Kvedar said. “That’s the space we’ve been trying to carve out and own for as long as we’ve been doing this, and this should be no exception.”

Kvedar will speak at 8:40 am on Thursday, October 17 on the Connected Health Conference main stage in Boston.

Connected Health Conference

Join PCHAlliance and the Partners Connected Health Symposium in Boston Oct. 16-18.