Healthcare executives speaking at CES 2023 this week in Las Vegas say the industry has to evolve to keep up with the times. How it deals with collecting, analyzing and using data may be the key to that evolution.
Healthcare organizations may have a hard time figuring out what to do with consumer technology, especially in this time of tight profit margins, but there’s no denying that the data coming from these tools and platforms will have a significant impact on the future of healthcare.
And at CES 2023 this week in Las Vegas, that’s what the experts were talking about.
“Using data to really leverage the journey of healthcare is very important,” said Susan Turney, MD, MS, FACP, FACPME, CEO of Wisconsin’s Marshfield Clinic Health System.
“When you start getting that data together with making it easier and seamless, that’s [the goal] we have to get to,” added Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, former president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health and now an executive in residence at General Catalyst.
Turney and Klasko took part in a high-profile panel on the first day of the sprawling consumer electronics show. Titled “The Future of Care in America: A New Hybrid Model,” it included Carlos Nunez, MD, chief medical officer for ResMed, Anne Docimo, MD, UnitedHealthcare’s chief medical officer, and Vidya Raman-Tangella, MD, chief medical officer of Teladoc Health.
The panel’s topic offered ample evidence of the impact that digital health is having on healthcare, and was underscored by the size and breadth of digital health and healthcare companies and products at CES 2023. And underneath all those tools and technologies, from smart toilets to mobile health apps to companion robots to digital twins to AI and VR and AR, is data. It’s what everything collects, analyzes and uses.
Healthcare has been slow to catch on to the value of digital health and data, and the panel was on hand to emphasize that this is how the industry must evolve to take in value-based care. Health systems and hospitals that fail to evolve in this manner risk losing their patients to Amazon, Walgreen’s, CVS, and the health plans and health systems that de embrace digital health data.
Nunez referenced a recent Intel report that estimated healthcare data makes up one third of all the data collected around the globe, yet roughly 95% of that data isn’t being used. It’s sitting out there in many different forms and locations, offering insights into how health and wellness can be measured and improved for every individual.
And yet healthcare hasn’t yet caught on.
“The fact that we define hospitals as where we fail to keep people healthy is wrong,” Klasko said.
So healthcare needs to evolve to collect and use that data. Klasko pointed out that this evolution is being defined by new partnerships that embrace digital health, with parties that might not have had a presence in healthcare before. Hospitals are joining forces with AI companies, food distribution and nutrition companies, and others to identify and address gaps in care and improve not only clinical outcomes but health and wellness.
“How do we redefine ourselves in a radically collaborative way?” he asked.
Docimo pointed out that a key to harnessing and using data will be finding the right platform, a challenge right now with so many EHRs out there unable to work with each other.
“What we have to get to is a common platform so we can unify that data,” she said.
And that’s where healthcare should and will be headed.
Eric Wicklund is the Innovation and Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.