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Digital Health Companies Adapted With Agility to Meet Outstanding Demands During the Pandemic

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Screenshot of Kinsa CEO Inder Singh

January 19, 2021—The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pressure digital health companies to adapt and scale with remarkable agility to meet unprecedented demands for their services.

At the Consumer Technology Association’s annual Consumer Electronics Show on January 12, David Kirkpatrick, editor-in-chief of Techonomy Media, facilitated a robust discussion with a panel of experts on the telehealth lessons learned from 2020 and the future of digital health.

“As a country, we were unprepared,” said Lee Schwamm, vice president of Digital Health Virtual Care at Mass General Brigham. “Internet service providers were not prepared for the increased internet load, and video teleconferencing providers were not prepared for the spike in demand.”

The panelists agreed that while many things were learned from the pandemic throughout 2020, the main thing that was brought to light is that people need quality health care at affordable prices.

According to panelists, the costs associated with health care are a major roadblock to digitizing the health system, as payers may wonder what the true value of the health services they are paying for is.

These payers include employers who may seek to save money on health expenses when trying to find the best providers for their employees. If employers can hold digital health companies to a high standard, their employees can enjoy lower health care costs, thus saving money for the employer’s bottom line.

Deneen Vojta, executive vice president at United Health Group, further critiqued COVID-19 responses in 2020, saying America’s health care system focuses too heavily on the end stage of diseases and health ailments. Vojta said directing resources towards early health care treatment in the form of signal detection and prevention is severely under cared for.

The future of digital health care

Looking forward, “there is a great challenge to find the best and safest ways to bring employees back to school and students back to work,” said Vivian Lee, president of platforms at Verily.

Lee discussed ways to leverage technology to bring employees and students back to traditional, in-person settings, such as building digitalized back-to-work and school programs, getting COVID-19 testing to all, and developing health apps, which can aid research in numerous ways, as many have access to smartphones and computer devices.

Inder Singh, CEO of Kinsa, further voiced optimism in telemedicine applications and tools. When the next pandemic hits, people must be prepared to combat it not just physically, but digitally, he said.

Kinsa makes a connected thermometer on smart devices via an app that communicates with others if the user has early signs of sickness. Kinsa was able to predict flu incidents months out on a city-to-city basis thanks to the nearly 2 million user downloads it had on smart devices.

Singh reminded that many underserved communities still lack access to broadband, noting that smartphones are more commonly accessible to low-income Americans.

In addition to getting the current COVID-19 pandemic under control, Lee believes mental well-being should be a priority of digital health initiatives going forward. By having access to mental telehealth services, patients can see health providers much faster and easier than the traditional means of physically traveling to a practice or clinic.

Lee warned that not all telehealth care is the same, as intense discussions over fee-per-service or value-based health care continue to rage on. Lee said she believes that health providers should be paid only when “delivering better health outcomes resulting in the patient’s improvement, rather than utilizing a fee-per-service” based system.

Expert Opinion

Craig Settles: Libraries, Barbershops and Salons Tackle TeleHealthcare Gap

Craig Settles describes the important role that community institutions have played in promoting connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Photo of Urban Kutz Barbershops owner Waverly Willis getting his blood pressure checked used with permission

January 19, 2021—The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pressure digital health companies to adapt and scale with remarkable agility to meet unprecedented demands for their services.

At the Consumer Technology Association’s annual Consumer Electronics Show on January 12, David Kirkpatrick, editor-in-chief of Techonomy Media, facilitated a robust discussion with a panel of experts on the telehealth lessons learned from 2020 and the future of digital health.

“As a country, we were unprepared,” said Lee Schwamm, vice president of Digital Health Virtual Care at Mass General Brigham. “Internet service providers were not prepared for the increased internet load, and video teleconferencing providers were not prepared for the spike in demand.”

The panelists agreed that while many things were learned from the pandemic throughout 2020, the main thing that was brought to light is that people need quality health care at affordable prices.

According to panelists, the costs associated with health care are a major roadblock to digitizing the health system, as payers may wonder what the true value of the health services they are paying for is.

These payers include employers who may seek to save money on health expenses when trying to find the best providers for their employees. If employers can hold digital health companies to a high standard, their employees can enjoy lower health care costs, thus saving money for the employer’s bottom line.

Deneen Vojta, executive vice president at United Health Group, further critiqued COVID-19 responses in 2020, saying America’s health care system focuses too heavily on the end stage of diseases and health ailments. Vojta said directing resources towards early health care treatment in the form of signal detection and prevention is severely under cared for.

The future of digital health care

Looking forward, “there is a great challenge to find the best and safest ways to bring employees back to school and students back to work,” said Vivian Lee, president of platforms at Verily.

Lee discussed ways to leverage technology to bring employees and students back to traditional, in-person settings, such as building digitalized back-to-work and school programs, getting COVID-19 testing to all, and developing health apps, which can aid research in numerous ways, as many have access to smartphones and computer devices.

Inder Singh, CEO of Kinsa, further voiced optimism in telemedicine applications and tools. When the next pandemic hits, people must be prepared to combat it not just physically, but digitally, he said.

Kinsa makes a connected thermometer on smart devices via an app that communicates with others if the user has early signs of sickness. Kinsa was able to predict flu incidents months out on a city-to-city basis thanks to the nearly 2 million user downloads it had on smart devices.

Singh reminded that many underserved communities still lack access to broadband, noting that smartphones are more commonly accessible to low-income Americans.

In addition to getting the current COVID-19 pandemic under control, Lee believes mental well-being should be a priority of digital health initiatives going forward. By having access to mental telehealth services, patients can see health providers much faster and easier than the traditional means of physically traveling to a practice or clinic.

Lee warned that not all telehealth care is the same, as intense discussions over fee-per-service or value-based health care continue to rage on. Lee said she believes that health providers should be paid only when “delivering better health outcomes resulting in the patient’s improvement, rather than utilizing a fee-per-service” based system.

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Health

Institutions Must Continue Riding Telehealth Growth Momentum for Post-Pandemic Care

Governments and health providers have an opportunity to carry the momentum of 2020 for telehealth’s future.

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Anthem President Gail Boudreaux

January 19, 2021—The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pressure digital health companies to adapt and scale with remarkable agility to meet unprecedented demands for their services.

At the Consumer Technology Association’s annual Consumer Electronics Show on January 12, David Kirkpatrick, editor-in-chief of Techonomy Media, facilitated a robust discussion with a panel of experts on the telehealth lessons learned from 2020 and the future of digital health.

“As a country, we were unprepared,” said Lee Schwamm, vice president of Digital Health Virtual Care at Mass General Brigham. “Internet service providers were not prepared for the increased internet load, and video teleconferencing providers were not prepared for the spike in demand.”

The panelists agreed that while many things were learned from the pandemic throughout 2020, the main thing that was brought to light is that people need quality health care at affordable prices.

According to panelists, the costs associated with health care are a major roadblock to digitizing the health system, as payers may wonder what the true value of the health services they are paying for is.

These payers include employers who may seek to save money on health expenses when trying to find the best providers for their employees. If employers can hold digital health companies to a high standard, their employees can enjoy lower health care costs, thus saving money for the employer’s bottom line.

Deneen Vojta, executive vice president at United Health Group, further critiqued COVID-19 responses in 2020, saying America’s health care system focuses too heavily on the end stage of diseases and health ailments. Vojta said directing resources towards early health care treatment in the form of signal detection and prevention is severely under cared for.

The future of digital health care

Looking forward, “there is a great challenge to find the best and safest ways to bring employees back to school and students back to work,” said Vivian Lee, president of platforms at Verily.

Lee discussed ways to leverage technology to bring employees and students back to traditional, in-person settings, such as building digitalized back-to-work and school programs, getting COVID-19 testing to all, and developing health apps, which can aid research in numerous ways, as many have access to smartphones and computer devices.

Inder Singh, CEO of Kinsa, further voiced optimism in telemedicine applications and tools. When the next pandemic hits, people must be prepared to combat it not just physically, but digitally, he said.

Kinsa makes a connected thermometer on smart devices via an app that communicates with others if the user has early signs of sickness. Kinsa was able to predict flu incidents months out on a city-to-city basis thanks to the nearly 2 million user downloads it had on smart devices.

Singh reminded that many underserved communities still lack access to broadband, noting that smartphones are more commonly accessible to low-income Americans.

In addition to getting the current COVID-19 pandemic under control, Lee believes mental well-being should be a priority of digital health initiatives going forward. By having access to mental telehealth services, patients can see health providers much faster and easier than the traditional means of physically traveling to a practice or clinic.

Lee warned that not all telehealth care is the same, as intense discussions over fee-per-service or value-based health care continue to rage on. Lee said she believes that health providers should be paid only when “delivering better health outcomes resulting in the patient’s improvement, rather than utilizing a fee-per-service” based system.

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Expert Opinion

Laura Miller: 7 Reasons Working From Home Might Be Here to Stay

As most of the business world scrambled to be productive in a remote existence, established work-from-home companies were left unscathed.

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The author of this Expert Opinion is TempDev CEO Laura Miller

January 19, 2021—The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pressure digital health companies to adapt and scale with remarkable agility to meet unprecedented demands for their services.

At the Consumer Technology Association’s annual Consumer Electronics Show on January 12, David Kirkpatrick, editor-in-chief of Techonomy Media, facilitated a robust discussion with a panel of experts on the telehealth lessons learned from 2020 and the future of digital health.

“As a country, we were unprepared,” said Lee Schwamm, vice president of Digital Health Virtual Care at Mass General Brigham. “Internet service providers were not prepared for the increased internet load, and video teleconferencing providers were not prepared for the spike in demand.”

The panelists agreed that while many things were learned from the pandemic throughout 2020, the main thing that was brought to light is that people need quality health care at affordable prices.

According to panelists, the costs associated with health care are a major roadblock to digitizing the health system, as payers may wonder what the true value of the health services they are paying for is.

These payers include employers who may seek to save money on health expenses when trying to find the best providers for their employees. If employers can hold digital health companies to a high standard, their employees can enjoy lower health care costs, thus saving money for the employer’s bottom line.

Deneen Vojta, executive vice president at United Health Group, further critiqued COVID-19 responses in 2020, saying America’s health care system focuses too heavily on the end stage of diseases and health ailments. Vojta said directing resources towards early health care treatment in the form of signal detection and prevention is severely under cared for.

The future of digital health care

Looking forward, “there is a great challenge to find the best and safest ways to bring employees back to school and students back to work,” said Vivian Lee, president of platforms at Verily.

Lee discussed ways to leverage technology to bring employees and students back to traditional, in-person settings, such as building digitalized back-to-work and school programs, getting COVID-19 testing to all, and developing health apps, which can aid research in numerous ways, as many have access to smartphones and computer devices.

Inder Singh, CEO of Kinsa, further voiced optimism in telemedicine applications and tools. When the next pandemic hits, people must be prepared to combat it not just physically, but digitally, he said.

Kinsa makes a connected thermometer on smart devices via an app that communicates with others if the user has early signs of sickness. Kinsa was able to predict flu incidents months out on a city-to-city basis thanks to the nearly 2 million user downloads it had on smart devices.

Singh reminded that many underserved communities still lack access to broadband, noting that smartphones are more commonly accessible to low-income Americans.

In addition to getting the current COVID-19 pandemic under control, Lee believes mental well-being should be a priority of digital health initiatives going forward. By having access to mental telehealth services, patients can see health providers much faster and easier than the traditional means of physically traveling to a practice or clinic.

Lee warned that not all telehealth care is the same, as intense discussions over fee-per-service or value-based health care continue to rage on. Lee said she believes that health providers should be paid only when “delivering better health outcomes resulting in the patient’s improvement, rather than utilizing a fee-per-service” based system.

Continue Reading

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