The Journal of mHealth Vol 2 Issue 4 (August) - Page 20

Industry News Continued from page 17 own vantage points for observing certain disease-and-treatment trends. To help sew the information together into a larger picture, the MIT Hacking Medicine program—which examines the intersection of technology and healthcare—is being spun out as a non-profit institute that will gather health-care stakeholders together and hammer out actual methodologies to determine the value of digital health products. “There’s so much hype now,” said Zen Chu, MIT senior lecturer and faculty director of Hacking Medicine. “It’s great, in a way. It’s early stages, and there are so many start-up companies. But they’re all having the same trouble. What’s actually working, and how do you prove that?” digital-health landscape is big on bold claims, but short on conclusive evidence. “The country is moving to value-based care,” said Malay Gandhi, a Rock Health managing director, about the move to reimbursing medical costs based on patient outcomes rather than the number of patients treated. “So [digital-health products] need to be able to prove they are valuable.” Mr. Gandhi said getting to that point will be far more complicated than simply proving a product works. “Clinical trials can show efficacy,” he said. “For digital health, you need to show effectiveness. That’s different. The people who pay for things, like insurers, they want to see effectiveness.” Apps, connected medical devices and other high-tech bells and whistles don’t just need to be embraced by consumers, he said. They need to be accepted and recommended by doctors, as well as reimbursed by major insurance companies. Where a drug can be shown to be efficacious when taken as directed, a digitalhealth program—for example, a weightloss application—will in many cases have to demonstrate it has caused significant behaviour change in a patient in order to be deemed effective, he said. Rock Health, a San Francisco seed investor and major engine for new digital-health innovations, agreed that the The digital-health companies being evaluated will have to show data on user engagement and behaviour, the way other tech companies do, he said. Most importantly, digital-health companies will need to show they actually cut the cost of administering care if they expect to be embraced by hospitals and insurance companies, Mr. Gandhi said. According to Mr. Chu, who will be helping to run the new non-profit institute, this data on human behaviour change can be attained—but only by bringing together a wide range of different stakeholders. The Hacking Medicine Institute will invite pharmaceutical and medicaldevice companies, policymakers, hospital administrators, doctors, insurance companies, self-insured employers and company founders from across the spectrum of digital health, Mr. Chu said. The institute will come out with white papers that offer guidelines on evaluating digital-health programs, and will evaluate digital products that seek to help in the treatment of major diseases. The institute aims to form its first working groups in early October, Mr. Chu said. Source: WSJ n This could be your ad 40% off for all new advertisers Contact for more information