SAN FRANCISCO – Matthew Holt believes the digital health care industry needs rebranding.
“The term ‘digital’ just means it’s on a computer,” he said on a recent digital health podcast. “It’s just too vague.”
Instead, Holt, co-founder of Health 2.0, which presents health technology innovation conferences around the world each year, suggested “SMACK Health,” a term that incorporates the social, mobile, analytic and cloud aspects of digital health care. He added the “K” for kindness.
“These technologies are distinct from the technologies we’ve had for so many years,” Holt said. “It’s going to be a messy world in health care while these two worlds of technologies co-exist for a while.”
Holt said the language around the digital health industry also has to consider new diagnostic technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, 3D, smartphone compatibility and sensors.
“The term ‘SMAC’ has been used predominantly outside the U.S., but it’s a way to distinguish these now mature ‘new’ information technologies from the enterprise-based client-server technologies that preceded them and are still prevalent especially in health care enterprises,” he said.
Experts agree the term ‘SMAC’ is more comprehensive of what’s needed to help health care organizations reduce costs and improve quality.
“Experience with SMAC in industries such as entertainment, consumer goods, and banking shows that while each of these technologies can generate benefits independently, they are even better together—joint application can improve business processes dramatically,” a report by the Deloitte consulting firm found.
In health care, this may translate to increased efficiency and lower costs, said the report’s authors.
While Holt recognizes the term digital health might be around for a while, he knows the most important thing is that people are having conversations about how to move health care forward.
“The status quo is not serving anyone as well as it could,” he said. “Our role is to improve it, and I think we’re headed in the right direction.”