Affordable Care Act Driving Digital Health Innovation
Sam Stern

Sam is the Founder and Chief Marketing Technologist at Modallic. Modallic specializes in brand development and marketing for Mobile Healthcare Technology (mHealth) firms. As a life-long entrepreneur, Sam directs the mHealth storytelling and mHealth agile marketing process unique to the Modallic approach.

Amid all the opposition, and no doubt some legitimate questions, about the Affordable Care Act red hot opportunities exist for smart digital health entrepreneurs.

How is the ACA driving digital health innovation?  

1, Remote patient monitoring tools and wearables- The goal of the ACA is to help hospitals move from volume-based care to value-based care, meaning that doctors won’t make money by ordering expensive tests. Instead, physicians will be motivated to keep patients healthy and prevent readmissions to the hospital.

Entrepreneurs are building some seriously cool devices to track body metrics, like a patient’s blood pressure and heart rate. Patients with chronic conditions, like diabetes, are purchasing glucometers, blood pressure cuffs, smart Wi-Fi scales, and pulse oximeters. Check out InformationWeek‘s list of the most promising remote patient monitoring devices.

2. Population health management- Population health management is a huge buzzword in the health industry. Broadly speaking, it refers to the suite of software tools hospitals and other care providers use to streamline the quality of care by identifying high-risk patients and monitoring clinical outcomes. Physicians aren’t just administering care to one patient at a time — they are thinking more broadly about trends and improving outcomes for whole populations.

3. Telemedicine-Most physicians would opt to dedicate the bulk of their time to caring for the very sick and dealing with tricky cases. However, primary care doctors and specialists may still want to check in with their patients on a regular basis. This is where telemedicine comes in: New communications technologies promise to safely and securely provide clinical care from a distance. For routine checkups, a remote teleconference is a more effective use of time for both the doctor and the patient.

In other words, it may soon become the norm to video chat with your doctor.

4. Data/analytics tools- Certainly, doctors will be able to access far more data than ever before, pulled in from all these new remote patient monitoring devices, publicly available sources, and electronic health records.

On a far more practical note, Yeshwant believes that physicians will need analytics tools to track their accounting and budgets. This will open up opportunities for technology entrepreneurs, even those without a strong grounding in health care.

“As incentives change we will need to manage operations and expenses much more closely,” said Yeshwant. “Hospital systems that view IT as an asset rather than a cost will win and everyone else will likely struggle.”

What red hot opportunity resulting from the advent of ACA are you pursuing?

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photo credit: Stephen D. Melkisethian via photopin cc

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