Are patients going to replace their doctor with an app?

  • Ada, a London and Berlin-based health tech startup just received major funding from Bill and Melinda Gates.
  • Ada isn’t claiming to replace your doctor anytime soon, but patients may do just that which could worsen a serious health problem.
  • A Harvard Medical School study found that symptom checkers, those tools that ask for information and suggest a diagnosis, are accurate only about half of the time.

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Smartwatch sales are going to double but…

  • IDC is predicting that wearable sales in 2018 will grow by just 6.2 percent to 122.6 million body gadgets compared to 2017 sales of 115 million units.
  • Smartwatches will buck that trend, with IDC expecting smartwatch shipments to grow 39 percent on 2017 shipments of 33 million units to 46.2 million in 2018. Apple Watch accounts for just under half of all smartwatch shipments.
  • The use of smatwatches should be encouraged by health insurer, but HCP’s are still not on board.

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Digital health does not replace a visit to the doctor

  • Digital health is one of the hottest spaces for investment, with companies raising $1.6 billion in venture capital in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Digital health companies are getting really good at screening populations of people for health problems before they develop into serious medical issues, but they struggle to get patients into their doctor.
  • Medical experts say that digital health can’t do much for users that are already sick, or at high risk of a serious medical condition.

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mHealth diabetes apps fail to show improvements in patient quality of life

  • None of the studies showed patient improvements in quality of life, blood pressure, weight, or body mass index. More rigorous and longer-term research studies could determine whether apps help people manage their diabetes and reduce complications.
  • Some apps for diabetes self-management may improve outcomes in the short-term, but the effect cannot be distinguished from the concomitant effect of additional support from a health care provider.

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How can pharma leverage apps?

KEY TAKEAWAY: According to Comscore “within the US, apps were responsible for 88% of mobile consumption in December . That compares with 87% in June, according to prior ComScore data, with app usage at that time relatively equal on smartphones (88%) and tablets (87%). Can pharma companies really leverage apps for business objectives?  Continue reading