Quick Read: Amazon will dramatically expand its healthcare reach with its planned $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical, a primary care provider with 188 offices in 25 markets nationwide but are they making a strategic move or a mistake? Telehealth has a future, but one could argue that physicians need to see patients firsthand to diagnose and evaluate patients. We also have to ponder the number of people who need more tests and coordination of medical records between HCPs.
Consumers downloaded 204 billion apps in 2019, and mobile use has been increasing during the pandemic. Apple, with its new privacy requirements, is challenging app developers and brands while Facebook cries fowl. It will have little effect on app use, though, for consumers.
KEY TAKEAWAY: A study looked at 24 top-rated, interactive apps for Android mobile devices pertaining to medical information, dispensing, administration, prescribing or use. Of those, 79% shared user data with third parties, which then shared it with “fourth parties.”
- Out of the hundreds of thousands of mHealth apps on the market, the effectiveness of only 22 has been evaluated in the last decade, per a study published in Nature.
- mHealth platforms could cause more harm than good to providers and payers that choose to use them to improve consumer health.
- JMIR published a meta-analysis revealing that while fitness apps modestly increased physical activity, the average step count between app users and nonusers was nonsignificant.
- The Apple Heart Study, conducted by Stanford University researchers and sponsored by Apple, evaluated the ability of the Apple Watch to detect atrial fibrillation, a common heart disorder also known as A-fib, in an astonishing 400,000 participants.
- The study was not a randomized controlled trial, the gold standard of medical research.
- It’s a purely observational study designed to see whether the Apple Watch’s heart pulse monitor can identify people who have a-fib.
- A leading cardiologist told me “the study is really moot and doesn’t change my views on the Apple watch for patients”
- It’s estimated that 20% of employers are accessing mhealth data.
- The data can be used to incentivize employees or raise health insurance premiums.
- A study found that wellness programs—even those with incentives—don’t change employees’ behavior much.
- igital health global venture capital broke records again in 2018 with 698 deals raising a total of $9.5bn.
- Funding for the digital health sector continues to rise, at a 32% increase year-over-year – a pace that will be difficult to maintain this funding pace going into 2019 unless there is “a clear exit path for investors,”.
- In the United States, digital health companies raised close to $7 billion in 2018 with the remaining $2.5 billion coming out of other countries.
- Most doctors say they have not recommended any general health and wellness apps or wearables to their patients. (Source: Kantar)
- For medical-grade devices, the results are similar, with 70% of doctors saying they have not recommended medical-grade web-connected devices to their patients. (Source: Kantar).