Building on the past several years, digital health played a significant role at CES 2023, which made it clear that health tech is consistently on the rise. Here’s a look at some of our favorite innovations in digital health and what they could mean for the healthcare industry.
From hospital to home
A major trend accelerated by COVID-19 is the adoption of healthcare technologies that collect and transmit data, enabling the advancement of remote care and telehealth solutions. These technologies allow patients to connect directly with physicians using at-home devices to transmit biometric data and test results for validation and diagnosis. As physicians look forward to providing better asynchronous care to patients, the demand for home health solutions will continue to rise.
The increase in remote and telehealth solutions is driven by advancements in the miniaturization of medical tools such as the FDA-approved MedWand. A multi-tool that packs a thermometer, MedWand includes a stethoscope, EKG, pulse oximeter and HD camera used for ears, nose, throat and skin into a pocket-sized device to enable clinical care anywhere. This tool makes healthcare more accessible and convenient for patients, especially those living in distant or underserved areas. By addressing routine health issues remotely, hospitals and clinics can focus their attention and resources on more critical needs.
CES’ health tech focus spanned beyond physician use cases to home care solutions, including devices that collect biometric data and send results directly to patients in real time, without physician intervention or consultation. Care coverage spans numerous health areas and empowers patients with more patient-specific information.
O’VIEW provides real time semen analysis aimed at improving fertility outcomes. Skeeper H1’s AI-powered stethoscope detects and diagnoses heart and lung disease. And when it comes to physical mobility, Mora’s mobile-based physical therapy app analyzes the body, joint movement, and range of motion to assess whether a patient is performing specified exercises correctly and progressing toward recovery goals.
There was immense focus on aging at CES, too. According to the US Census Bureau, it's estimated that by 2034, adults 65 years or older will outnumber children. Over time, this jump will create a shortfall in family members to care for their senior loved ones. The rise in this disparity has exacerbated the need for virtual caregiver solutions aligned to patients’ overall clinical care needs.
Enter virtual voice assistants like Addison, which are quickly making their way to center stage. These devices remind us to take our prescribed medicines, conduct interactive health assessments, deliver dosing compliance information and even integrate with telehealth devices to record and send vital signs to physicians. This innovation is an invaluable 24/7, one-stop solution for continuous healthcare.
Among the countless cutting-edge diagnostic technologies this year, one of the most exciting is the emergence of digital twins. A methodology that’s already being used in numerous industries, its application in healthcare could prove invaluable.
Digital twins refer to the creation of virtual organs such as the heart, brain, and lungs and their true-to-life functionality gleaned from real patient biometric data. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way that we think about healthcare delivery, allowing for more personalized care and less invasive diagnosis pathways. Doctors can test treatments on virtual models using a patient’s real organ function data.
CES 2023 illuminated the important role that technology plays in the future of healthcare and the opportunities these technologies will open. It also allowed us to envision a healthier future in which we’re more informed while using less invasive equipment. That said, it also underlines the importance for providers to stay on top of healthcare trends and think creatively about how to leverage new technologies to improve patient care.
The accessibility of self-care allows patients to be more proactive in their personal healthcare journeys and increases the need for an ecosystem of interoperable platforms that leverage the ever-increasing data into actionable insights.
As individuals, healthcare providers and technology developers continue to push new ideas forward, we can expect to see better patient outcomes, a rise in overall patient satisfaction and continued equitable growth in the healthcare industry for generations to come.
By Desiree Barreras, Director, Media Strategy at SOLVE(D); Matt Hall, Director, Content Creation at StudioRx; Franklin Williams, Director, Experience Design at AREA 23; and Ben Zanghi, Director, Experience Design at McCann Health New Jersey