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Technology Applications Transforming Healthcare

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held virtually for the first time ever this year, demonstrating firsthand that innovation has exploded in the wake of COVID-19. As the sessions progressed, especially those in digital health, one important thought continued to come forward. Which real-life consumer technology applications are transforming healthcare today?

In the telemedicine space, MedWand is making remote visits more meaningful. Their device transforms a telemedicine video discussion into a true medical exam, all from the comfort of home. The consumer has the device on-hand and can either use it during a live remote exam or conduct a self-exam to share the results with the doctor at a later time. It measures temperature, respiration, and heartbeat, and it has a built-in stethoscope and 4K camera for ears, nose, throat, and skin. With as much as 20% of all medical visits conducted by telehealth in 2020,* this device is significantly improving the quality of care in a key setting coupled with consumer convenience.

Shifting to wearables, Oura Ring discovered a way to build 7 sensors and a battery into a ring. Esthetically impressive and highly personalized, while awake, Oura captures data that reflect an individual’s activity and movement. When asleep, Oura captures meaningful data as nighttime is the best opportunity to get an accurate read on overall health. The data connects to an app, with personalized recommendations to improve health proactively, helping to decrease serious diseases through preventive care.

Welldoc, a first mover in digital therapeutics, combines the rigor of clinical science with mobile technology. Their BlueStar software supports the powerful app, a device agnostic solution that connects with more than 300 devices. The breadth of integration includes medication, sleep, exercise, labs, psycho-social factors, and diet. It’s focused on addressing diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure through data analysis, coaching, and healthcare provider integration. Furthermore, BlueStar has demonstrated significant improvement in clinical outcomes and has already been showcased in more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, posters, and presentations.

Finally, the first and only prescription treatment delivered through a video game, EndeavorRx earned its initial indication for ADHD. It is prescribed by doctors and “played” by patients. EndeavorRx looks and feels like a high-end, interactive action video game and is built with proprietary technology developed to target and treat cognitive impairments at specific sources in the brain. This new form of medicine is entertaining and effective, with the potential to expand across cognitive-related diseases and disorders.

Telemedicine, wearables, digital therapeutics, and prescription video games are transforming consumer healthcare by improving outcomes, decreasing costs, and leveling up the consumer experience. Envision what might come forward next year.

*Source: 2020 State of Telemedicine Report, Doximity

This article is also featured on PharmaLive.