Guest columnist Dr Vikrum (Sunny) Malhotra attended ATA 2015 earlier this month. This is the third of three articles on his observations on trends and companies to watch.
For those who attended the American Telemedicine Association‘s meeting in Los Angeles, the overarching trend was how a personal healthcare system is taking shape. The three pillars include: care anywhere, care networking and care customization.
The ATA stage opened with a keynote speech by Dr Sanjay Gupta about celebrating new innovation and technology advancements. This is the year where healthcare models are being built around patients in the home to support patient autonomy.These three pillars of personalized healthcare are being made possible by disruptive technologies, wearables/implantables, social networks and analytic technologies to automate remote care. Wearables and biosensors allow patients to move anywhere without interfering with day to day schedules while allowing for optimized data collection.
Access to care anywhere has been a challenge and is becoming realized through providing cheaper wireless tools that takes it to far corners. Dr Gupta focused on the use of telemedicine for delivery of care and its utility for improving access. He endorsed it as a tool for providing care for those with limited healthcare accessibility and locally for more a mainstream solution to a larger healthcare problem. We have seen telemedicine become mainstream through companies such as Vsee, an international videoconferencing platform. Confirming this to me was telemedicine video provider Vsee‘s CEO Milton Chen. Vsee has been “implementing Ebola clinics across Africa and in the Middle East during dangerous times to support access to care” using their field-tested Telemedicine Kit.
Care networking through connected devices integrating to the back end of electronic medical records are bringing patients and family members to the forefront of this model. Most medical errors are caused by communication and coordination problems among healthcare members. According to Dr Martin Kohn, Chief Medical Scientist of Sentrian, in my interview with him (Part 2).”70 percent of 1st generation monitoring alerts are caused by false alarms.”
Care customization is the third pillar of a personalized healthcare paradigm shift. Patient treatments are being tailored based on patient data collection, improved analytics and personalized genome markers through next generation sequencing.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are facilitating personalized medicine through modalities like IBM Watson and Sentrian. We are seeing the early stages of the personalized healthcare model during our lifetimes as it slowly replaces our traditional healthcare model. This became abundantly clear during my time at the ATA 2015 conference as a piece of a larger Healthcare 2.0 puzzle. We are growing closer to the time that individuals will be able to take control of personal healthcare. We’ll be watching this transformation as technology facilitates the shift from the hospital to the home.
Vikrum (Sunny) Malhotra, MD is a US trained cardiologist who was named one of the top “Doctors on Twitter” to follow. He was named Best in Healthcare Ontario – Notable Young Professional 2014. He is an entrepreneur and health tech investor. He is the founder of Bookaclinic.com, a telemedicine practice in Ontario, Canada. @DrSunnyMalhotra