Columbus, OH – 8/18/2021.
Digital health is more than a trend. It’s a reality. A comprehensive report from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science analyzed the digital health marketplace to track the relative strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the technologies. A primary takeaway is that these resources are already a part of our lives, with more to come.
Developers have taken the lead on creating platforms for a broad range of purposes, from the most basic wellness-related function to highly specialized support for a specific disease state. For consumers, there’s an element of ‘buyer beware’ that requires due diligence to assess the quality and functionality of a product. For developers, and indeed anyone directly or adjacently attached to digital health, there are interests in differentiating one solution from the almost countless others, and determining how best to incorporate the modalities that really do work into existing healthcare delivery systems.
The numbers are staggering. Globally, there are more than 350,000 apps available for consumer download through the most commonly available channels. In 2020 alone, more than 90,000 were introduced. The reality is a marketplace that is chaotic, saturated, and almost entirely unstandardized and unregulated. Generally, the apps that don’t work that well are organically filtered out through lack of consumer uptake. Either the developers remove them, or the app platforms do so. Even so, it feels almost impossible, as a consumer, to know where to begin.
This state of affairs can be remediated, in part, by Health in Motion Network’s approach to Dispensed Care Management™. The HIMN digital platform elevates the community pharmacist to the role of recognized health provider. In this model, pharmacists are empowered to practice to the top of their licensure, maintaining essential prescription dispensing, but equally positioning these health professionals as care managers. Coordination among care teams, including pharmacists, physicians, and other designated providers, facilitates personalized, data-driven, centralized support for patients. Pharmacists who participate in the HIMN platform, which offers their practices myriad efficiency and workflow improvements, specifically identify patients they believe would benefit. Patients already report high levels of trust in pharmacists. This reinforces that connection.
The IQVIA report goes into considerable detail about the state of digital health, including its drivers and challenges. Right now, there is meaningful momentum in favor of adoption, even though pandemic-related accelerators, such as reimbursement and telehealth waivers, are slowing. The uses are many. Remote patient monitoring is gaining traction to help people stay well in place, and is increasingly being woven into therapeutic regimens as well as clinical trial protocols. Enabling providers to have real-time, synchronous, accurate access to patients’ personal health metrics makes care decision-making vastly more actionable and effective. The errors inherent to self-reporting are minimized. Medication and disease management can be done virtually. In-person care isn’t obsolete, but can become more targeted. Chronic disease burdens are alleviated.
There is still a lot of uncertainty around how these devices and platforms will ultimately be allocated and paid for. Employers have a strong interest, as do payers. Discussion around establishment of quality benchmarks is ongoing among leading industry groups. It is likely that digital health will be relevant in continuing exploration of value-based care reimbursement models.
Unquestionably, there’s a tremendous amount of noise in the marketplace. Without trying to simply shout above the rest, Health in Motion Network is steadily pursuing strategic partnerships, and solidifying its foundations, to deliver a digital health product that meets the needs of patients, pharmacists and their health profession peers, payers, employers, and related stakeholders.
Health In Motion Network delivers a consumer-centric, digitally enhanced healthcare ecosystem, enabling centralized and personalized, pharmacist-driven care management, empowering consumer choice and optimizing clinical outcomes.