As technology progresses, we're seeing more and more digital health companies concentrating on the needs and conditions of individual patients. This trend toward personalized medicine, easy access to information, and giving patients greater choice will help all of us be more responsible for our own health.
Here are 11 digital companies focused on helping us get the best support and treatment we can.
Memotext has designed a smart communication platform that helps patients adhere to their medications and their therapy. The platform learns each patient's behavior through real, measurable inputs such as claims filed, EMRs, and wearables data; this allows it to tailor its reminders and educational content to each individual.
Clinical trials have shown a 17% increase in patients' confidence in self-managing their care and a nearly 90% increase in user retention rates. This means better patient experiences and outcomes.
MedWand is another step toward the Star Trek Tricorder. The device is an all-in-one sensor, including a thermometer, camera, stethoscope, heart rate sensor, blood oxygen measurement, and a disposable speculum. It takes a comprehensive range of medical measurements and converts them into an electronic health record.
This makes it quicker and easier to gather and record vital health information in a consistent, reliable way. These devices can be used by patients to help them measure and monitor their own health.
Breakthrough provides easy access to online counselling for mental health. It's a nationwide service connecting over 1,000 therapists with around 30,000 patients. The service lets people get therapy wherever they are, through their smartphone.
Breakthrough provides counsellors in many fields including anxiety, depression, PTSD, relationships, bipolar, anger management, ADHD, bereavement.
Proteus Digital Health
Proteus Digital Health is pushing the boundaries of biomedical sensors. A patient can wear Proteus' specialized patch to monitor and measure vital signs, physiological responses, and other important factors. Patients can measure their own health data via a paired smartphone app. They can track heart rate, blood pressure, activity, weight and more, and get reminders on when to take their medications.
Tictrac is working on its own platform to engage patients via a dashboard that connects health tracker data, social media data, and other inputs. "The data we need to inform the right lifestyle choices is all around us," the company says, "and our technology is transforming the way individuals and organizations handle healthcare challenges."
1DocWay, which was acquired by Genoa last fall, is a telepsychiatry platform that is extending access to behavioral healthcare to patients who otherwise wouldn't have it. "As a result of this acquisition, we will expand our reach in the behavioral health community and provide a valuable solution to the shortage of providers at hundreds of more clinics in need," the company says.
Sano's patented system includes a tiny biometric sensor and app that lets people monitor their bloodstreams at a chemical level. The company is still working on the best applications for its technology, but founder Ashwin Pushpala told TechCrunch last June it could become a predictive tool — for example, as a way to help you make healthier choices when dining out.
Chrono Therapeutics has created a smoking cessation system that involves behavior tracking, real-time coaching, and medication that will sync up to the user's nicotine cravings. Nicotine replacement therapy can be delivered via a sensor worn against the skin, no injections needed.
If the FDA approves the product, look for it to hit the market sometime in 2017.
Telepsychiatry platform Talkspace lets patients connect in real time with a licensed therapist. In October, the company announced it had rolled out a new feature that would let patients send their therapists audio and video messages.
TidePool is a nonprofit that is developing an open-source app for Type 1 diabetes patients. This self-management tool will serve as a hub for each patient's diabetes data. An additional app will help patients make better-informed dietary choices.
The Sense.ly platform brings healthcare to the virtual world, but with a twist: It features a virtual nurse that can mimic a human nurse's bedside manner, deliver data in real time when a quick decision needs to be made, and facilitate between-visits care that patients with chronic diseases so often need.
Consumer health tech is an exciting and rapidly expanding space. By bringing health down to the individual level, and then doing this at scale, these companies are giving consumers the opportunity to take charge of their own health, on their own terms.
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