Digital well being innovators share 2021 predictions


With a brand new coronavirus variant afoot and an unsure 12 months forward, MobiHealthInformation has compiled 2021 predictions on the important thing themes that may have an effect on the digital well being trade throughout a doubtlessly turbulent yr. We hear from a variety of EMEA-based well being and tech leaders on the continued efforts to shut the well being fairness hole, the expansion of self-care apps, VR expertise, employer expertise investments and the improved use of well being knowledge.

Matteo Berlucchi, CEO of UK-based self-care app, Healthily

“I believe folks are actually feeling extra empowered due to the advances in cellular expertise and ubiquitous, inexpensive connectivity. This feeling of empowerment interprets within the want to take extra management of 1’s life: from finance to courting, from journey to healthcare. Health is considerably the laggard of the digital period so I count on 2021 to be the yr wherein the vast majority of cellular customers will begin turning to their units to raised perceive their well being and tips on how to enhance it.

“COVID-19 has modified the world and, sadly, it is going to stick with us in some form or kind for the foreseeable future. People are studying the onerous method that self-care is an important sort of care and I count on 2021 to be an enormous yr for folks trying to handle no matter well being scenario they’ll on their very own.

“Healthily took a few years to construct due to its complexity and deal with affected person security. This yr we’re lastly able to go to market and our app will empower everybody who makes use of it to take management of their well being with AI self-assessments, essentially the most dependable well being library on the planet, essentially the most versatile and safe journal and a variety of bespoke hubs for the administration of the most typical self-carable circumstances.”

Dr Philipp Wustrow, Swiss teledermatology platform OnlineDoctor

“The discipline of dermatology is present process profound change. We count on this pattern to proceed and even speed up in 2021 as a result of pandemic.

“We have an rising variety of dermatologists in our community who want to spend over 50% of their working time within the residence workplace they usually assume {that a} important proportion of their future work will contain digital communication with sufferers. In this regard, we count on asynchronous communication between dermatologists and sufferers to prevail over conventional video-consultations.

“We sense a big improve in openness from physicians and sufferers to benefit from teledermatology. Thus, we anticipate that teledermatology will develop into an integral a part of the therapy and analysis of dermatology circumstances in 2021.

“In 2021, we are going to observe that there can be a “bottom-up” impact from sufferers who actively request and count on the potential of teledermatology session. In addition, there can be an elevated “top-down” impact from physicians actively selling teledermatology companies to their sufferers. Dermatology will seem in a brand new guise in 2021, a digital one.”

Prof Daan Dohmen, CEO of Netherlands-based distant affected person monitoring platform, Luscii

“In 2020 we noticed digital healthcare take important strides ahead. More and extra healthcare sectors launched completely different types of teleconsultations with a purpose to keep linked with their sufferers in occasions the place hospital capacities had been stretched. But that is simply the beginning.

“More healthcare organisations will begin organising new “entrance doorways” utilizing digital apps for his or her current and new sufferers. These digital triage methods capable of triage sufferers even earlier than they go away to go to the physician or hospital will develop into extra essential as A&E and GP sources are stretched within the battle in opposition to COVID. With this, sufferers may be screened and linked to the appropriate care skilled or self-help instantly away. It may very well be seen as the subsequent technology of 111.

“During COVID-19 distant monitoring of sufferers is utilized in many trusts as a way to maintain a ‘finger to the heart beat’ of sufferers with power illnesses corresponding to COPD and coronary heart failure. Different tasks, just like the digital ward challenge in Sunderland (UK), confirmed how the info collected creates a full image of how sufferers are doing at residence negating the necessity for normal hospital visits. In 2021, the obtainable knowledge can be used much more intelligently by including synthetic intelligence capabilities to assist medical doctors and nurses intervene at simply the appropriate second in time.

“Virtual wards – as arrange throughout COVID-19 – present that healthcare wants transformation on the way in which budgeting is finished. Instead of budgeting primarily based on ‘actions’, we are going to see increasingly budgeting primarily based on subscriptions. Patients will get entry to 24/7 distant care and can be often checked by the expertise and nurses throughout the digital ward. This will result in earlier affected person discharges and diminished hospital admissions. It is the way forward for built-in care methods!” 

Roberto Ascione, group CEO and founding father of international digital well being firm, Healthware Group

“The inevitable invisibility of digital well being, and by that I imply, as with different industries, when expertise begins to dematerialise. Digital well being will begin to be woven into on a regular basis objects increasingly. We’re beginning to see this occur by the emergence of good houses and good vehicles (i.e. the steering wheel measuring the guts fee). As extra knowledge is collected passively, there can be larger alternatives for integration.

“Ageing in place will develop into extra widespread as child boomers age and really feel extra snug leveraging instruments like distant monitoring, telehealth and illness administration platforms. Living independently can be important to this age group and digital well being instruments will assist assist them in that endeavor resulting in an explosion of adoption and development within the total trade in consequence. This is clear within the quantity of funding within the class.

“We count on to see what we name, “Health Data as a Service” (HDaS). As an rising variety of options and units generate rising quantities of well being knowledge, there’s a larger want for aggregators of that knowledge in a helpful method for customers. Consumers need and wish instruments to make sense of all that knowledge. They additionally wish to guarantee they know who has entry to that knowledge, and management over the place that knowledge can circulate. So, we count on to see extra instruments supporting customers on this method.”

Laurent Vandebrouck, CEO of France-based digital well being and distant monitoring firm, Chronolife

“In some EU nations corresponding to France, the Nordics, and so on., distant affected person monitoring (RPM) has been reimbursed by the payers for the final two years for sure forms of power illnesses (CHF, COPD, diabetes). Back in 2019, the adoption and prescription of RPM to sufferers discharged from hospitals was actually sluggish, however the COVID-19 disaster has been an unbelievable accelerator of RPM to make sure that solely sufferers needing important inpatient care are (re)admitted to hospitals, throughout a time of continued healthcare sources scarcity.  

“As a consequence and for instance, the French payer has determined to increase to all CHF sufferers the reimbursement of RPM companies. This implies that the RPM market will dramatically improve within the coming two years, however the payer and regulator must assist and push for a consolidation of the market to ease the job of the healthcare professionals, who’re generally misplaced with quite a few RPM options for which they’ve difficulties to evaluate and select which of them to allocate and prescribe to the affected person. The payer and regulator will even should push for interoperability between the completely different RPM options on the medical gadget and repair platform ranges. These two challenges have to be met with a purpose to realise our supposed goal for RPM’s mass adoption and in lowering the general healthcare price for all stakeholders.”

Christophe Aubry, MD of Italy-based AI and pure language processing firm, 

“2020 has been a yr of great developments in synthetic intelligence (AI) utilized to healthcare, and we see much more wants for automation at scale in 2021.

“Typically – and regardless of the rising pattern in the direction of digitalisation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, monitoring insights in particular therapeutic areas in addition to discovering and analysing scientific trials nonetheless depend on guide, labour-intensive processes. By leveraging the aptitude of automating the studying, categorisation, and extraction of scientific and analysis content material with high-level of accuracy, AI can streamline the evaluation of affected person suggestions, medical information, and scientific knowledge.

“Thanks to superior pure language understanding expertise, AI is changing into an integral companion to well being and life science organisations to speed up analysis and growth, and supply cheaper care.”

Christina Colmer McHugh, co-founder of wearable temper tracker, Moodbeam

“Without a doubt, there’s most positively been a shift past wearable expertise getting used to trace simply bodily well being to additionally utilizing it to achieve a greater understanding of 1’s psychological wellbeing, emotions and basic happiness.  

“The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent want for folks to earn a living from home, if and the place attainable, has led to a number of people feeling disconnected from others, and companies ought to deal with investing in and taking a proactive method to their employees’s psychological wellbeing. Health tech wearables just like the Moodbeam One assist foster a protected atmosphere to have interaction with workers’ work happiness in real-time, which might then be used to make enhancements or present further assist the place acceptable or be mirrored on at leisure.”

“My hope for 2021 and past is that each one companies champion constructive bodily and psychological wellbeing, equally. It’s such a complicated and unnerving time for us all, so what’s essential is that we preserve our social connectivity and find time for self-care and reflection, and no extra so than when at work.”  

Dr Sina Habibi, co-founder & CEO at UK-based medical tech firm, Cognetivity

“AI will proceed to develop within the healthcare house. As we’ve got constructed large networks of sensors and infrastructure round gathering and processing knowledge significantly well being and medical knowledge, AI will play an ever extra important function in making sense of such an unlimited quantity of knowledge and serving to the physicians in making proper selections in analysis and likewise monitoring the therapy efficacy.   

“Expansion of good telephones and pill utilization have enabled regular and powerful development within the distant/teleconsultation sector over the previous few years, however closure of bodily clinics because of pandemic has resulted in exponential development on this sector. Some studies estimate 900% development over the subsequent 5 years. Even after the pandemic there can be an enormous behaviour change within the sector in that you do not go to sufferers within the clinics until completely mandatory.  

“Our expertise provides quite a few benefits over conventional pen-and-paper examinations, together with its brief period and excessive classification accuracy, coupled with the absence of a follow impact or any cultural or instructional bias. Nevertheless, it’s the computerised nature of the ICA and its ease of use, eliminating the necessity for the presence of a healthcare skilled, that positions it significantly effectively to allow the swap from in-person to distant evaluation because the period of telemedicine dawns.”

Miri Polachek, CEO at Israel-based wellbeing firm, Joy Ventures

“There have been many traits which have gained traction up to now yr, together with the continued rise of wearable expertise, psychological wellness tech, and sleep enhancing units and merchandise, however different large traits to look out for this coming yr will relate to social, company and at-home wellness.

“With many firms opting to permit workers to proceed working remotely in 2021, supporting workers’ wellbeing and sustaining firm tradition can be top-of-mind for employers. The international company wellness market was just lately projected to succeed in $93 billion (€76 billion) by 2027 (in comparison with $57 billion in 2019). A rising variety of digital options deal with serving to folks just about replicate the “water cooler conversations” and kind significant social interactions the office as soon as afforded.

“Confronted with extra stress than typical within the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have needed to rethink what it means to chill out and discover equilibrium by putting extra deal with the standard of their time at residence, the way it helps their bodily and emotional wellbeing, and the way they’ll create moments of pleasure and self-care on this context. A rising variety of client merchandise are serving to us obtain this sense of calm and recreate the experiences that when introduced us peace of thoughts – like figuring out open air or on the gymnasium – safely from residence, together with wearables, apps, VR experiences, and video video games.”


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