Patient empowerment & more: Top trends from the MobCon Digital Health Networking Mixer

Over 100 attendees gathered at the MobCon/MentorMate headquarters for the MobCon Digital Health networking event and panel presented with LifeScience Alley.

After the networking hour, all eyes turned to the panel of experts assembled to discuss the potential for Digital Health and what tighter integration into the greater Healthcare economy could mean for payers, providers, physicians and patients. Several themes rose out of the discussion.

Importance of patient empowerment & preventative medicine

MentorMate CEO & Founder Björn Stansvik recognized a critical flaw in the current care system. Patients have the most invested in their quality of care and outcomes, but the ownership of care has been ceded to providers. The self-described Healthcare optimist looks forward to the time when mobile and digital technologies can enable patients to take back some of that control. That time may be now. For Björn, one of the largest opportunities in Digital Health is the role it can play in improving communication between patients and providers to coordinate care.

Panelist Julie Kemp, Vice President of Marketing at Vital Images, also recognized the opportunity Digital Health provides patients to take ownership, whether that be in the collaborative, preventative or wellness spheres.

For Brian Beutner, former chair of MNsure, Digital Health is poised to help change how preventative care is delivered nationally, with technology playing a role in how patients are taught to recognize tell-tale signs of more serious conditions.

Brian used the analogy of auto repair. Rarely do drivers take their cars in for maintenance when smoke is pouring out from under the hood. In best case scenarios, future critical issues are identified during routine checks before the full potential of the problem manifests. For Brian, the same model should apply in Healthcare.

Beyond positioning patients for better health outcomes overall, Björn sees preventative health as a valuable tool for providers to lean on in forecasting patient outcomes as the industry transitions further to the accountable care model.

The potential of big data

Damon Smith, Vice President of Prime Therapeutics, sees Digital Health as a convergence of the potential uses for data in the health space.

While a majority of panelists mentioned big data, Chip Truwit, Chief Innovation Officer of Hennepin Health Systems (HCMC), focused on opportunities for future use influencing the patient experience and improving the electronic health record.

Julie summarized the business incentive for companies to wrap their arms around big data; “whoever owns the data wins.”

Panelist Chip sees the potential but hasn’t seen businesses realize it yet. Though in his words, “The promise is there.”

Cracking the code on coordinated care

Several panelists focused on the possibilities for more coordinated patient care. Damon Smith sees opportunity in remote monitoring especially as Baby Boomers age. Remote monitoring could play a role in coordinating care between families and caregivers in neighboring states or across the country. Simplification remains the key to successful coordination.

Björn referenced how Spok improved urgent care coordination using custom mobile messaging technology to assemble and connect hospital critical care teams.

The discussion around Digital Health at last night’s mixer and panel discussion touched on trends driving momentum in Healthcare. It’s clear regional analysis and effort around Digital Health is powerful and just getting started.