BOSTON – The appeal and excitement of consumer technology is not usually associated with home health care, but some developers are entering the market with a mission to blend the two together.
“We can do things in health care that improves outcomes and addresses patient needs,” said Eddie Martucci, PhD, CEO of Akili Interactive Labs, a company that is building clinically-validated cognitive therapeutics, assessments and diagnostics that look and feel like high-quality video games. “Our aim is to develop a new type of digital medicine that can be deployed directly to any patient anywhere, prescribed and tracked by physicians.”
Martucci was part of a panel discussion on the convergence of health care and consumer technology at the Connected Health Symposium last week. The panel looked at the devices and platforms changing care, and also examined how the technology will change the relationship between patients and physicians.
Video games, voice-recognition technology and other alternative solutions are the result of looking at the health care space from the consumer perspective, said Jim Harper, PhD, co-founder and COO of Sonde Health, a company that has developed voice-based technology to monitor and diagnose health. Experts have long complained that developers overlook the end user, making patient engagement a challenge.
“We need to think in a new way and allow for technology to come in,” he said. “We can blend the boundary between consumer and health care technologies, and bring these things together so we can take charge of our own health every day.”
The panelists, which also included Maneesh Goyal, senior vice president of corporate development of Welltok, and Owen McCarthy, president of MedRhythms, agreed that physicians should be spending more time with patients and not on gathering data. Consumer tech can help.
“Doctors don’t need more data to filter through, they need context,” said Martucci.