Health system innovation: integrating connected health in clinical practice

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By Rich Scarfo

Since launching the first Connected Health Conference in 2009, the industry has come a long way. What was once the fledgling field of “mHealth” is now a burgeoning digital health ecosystem that includes wearables, sensors and remote monitoring devices, even ingestibles and connected clothing and, of course, smartphones and apps. Some of today's largest and most respected organizations are championing personal connected health – from consumer tech, pharma and life sciences companies to research institutions and academic centers. More and more, healthcare providers are embracing connected health technologies, and with diminishing provider resources, there is an urgent need to accelerate the adoption of technology-enabled health and wellness.

The question now is not one of “if” but “how.” How do we use connected health to improve care delivery? How do we design the right tools to empower individuals to better manage their health and wellness? How do providers manage the personal health data streaming in from these devices? And, how do we make the technology “sticky” in order to motivate individuals to maintain healthy behavior?

At the 2017 Connected Health Conference next week, we are convening some of the most forward-thinking and innovative health systems, healthcare providers, companies and investors to provide answers to those questions and a roadmap to the future. Here are just a few examples:
Following the Connected Health Innovation Challenge (CHIC), designed to foster innovation among employees and clinical faculty at Partners HealthCare, a team of clinicians and administrators from McLean Hospital will share their idea aimed at bridging the gap in access to group therapy treatment for individuals with both mood and substance abuse disorders. To address this problem, the team is developing a secure mobile app that could provide key elements of integrated group therapy treatment, including mood monitoring and check-ins, videos and other educational content for individuals with both mood and substance abuse disorders. Founded in 1811, McLean is a leader in psychiatric care, research and education, and is the largest psychiatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

In a new Health System Innovation track, organizations like PULSE@MassChallenge, Healthbox, Intermountain Healthcare, Brigham Digital Innovation Hub, Johns Hopkins Medicine Technology Innovation Center and MITRE will discuss the novel partnerships that are disrupting and redesigning healthcare delivery. And, novel initiatives from companies like Intel, IBM, Cognizant, MDRevolution and Becton Dickinson, as well as groundbreaking programs from the CDC Immunization Project, HHS Idea Lab and data from the Digital Doctor Survey conducted by IPSOS, will be presented on the Innovation Lounge state. PCHAlliance and HIMSS Analytics will also come together to discuss results of a recent connected health survey.

Early stage companies also play an important role in advancing personal connected health, and can often be credited with next-generation thinking. Ten such companies will participate in the HealthTech Standout! Competition, showcasing the most innovative and game-changing products in the industry. From virtual reality, a mobile app that supports end-of-life decisions and a mobile vision center and home exam and diagnosis solutions, we will get a glimpse of the future. We invite you to join us for the most anticipated event in connected health.

Access more information about the 2017 Connected Health Conference here

About the Author: Rich Scarfo is Vice President, Personal Connected Health Alliance and Director, Connected Health Conference.