John Doerr KPCB
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.

If you’re over 40 years old, you probably remember the iconic E.F. Hutton ads:

When E.F.Hutton talks, people listen.”

Today, when it comes to trends in technology, people listen to Kliener Perkins.

Kliener Perkins, Caufield & Byers provided incubation and early stage funding for some of the leading tech and healthcare innovators such as Google, Amazon, Genomic Health, and WebMD. So, they do know a thing or two about looking ahead and picking the tech and health tech winners.

In KPCB’s 2014 Internet Trends report, you’ll discover insights worth your attention.

Here are the key points that impact health IT and mobile health firms. 

General Trends

1. Smartphone Subscribers – Still growing, but not as fast. Largest growth in China, India, Brazil, Indonesia.

2. Tablets – Experiencing Early Stage Rapid Growth

3. Mobile Data Traffic – Accelerating growth, with video the driver.

4. Mobile Usage Growth – Continues very strong.

Nothing too earth shattering here, but it does confirm the solid presence of Mobile usage in people’s lives.

Growing Cyber Threats – Over 95% of Networks compromised in some way. Highlights the concerns to protect Privacy and security of data in healthcare. One of the biggest concerns and challenges for health IT applications.

Healthcare: At an “Inflection” Point?


I’ve talked about the “Perfect Storm” of Healthcare technology solutions. These points from the report seem to confirm this insight:

1. Costs up to 17% of GDP

2. Waste = 27% of spending

3. Employers carry the biggest burden of healthcare expense. (But with profits being squeezed, global competition, and use of outsourced staff, how long will this continue?)

4. Individual Costs Rising

5. Chronic Conditions are over 75% of all health care spending

6. Individual Behaviors are the Root Cause of many health-related conditions

Health Care: Change Is In the Air


  • Digital technology enables cost effective change - Legacy systems are on the way out.
  • Government enabled change pushes technology - Provisions of ACA forcing use of EHR.
  • Consumerization of healthcare - People want access to tools, data, and doctor/hospital review information. This consumer demand will increase and intensify.
  • Digital Healthcare is happening - Providers using EHR. Patients comfortable with email and digital communication with doctors. Venture capital is stepping up and providing the funding to facilitate it.
  • Quality over Quantity taking root – Patient Engagement incentives are working to deliver better health care rather than more health care.
  • Patient Engagement Apps and Solutions are working - Redbrick Health, Teladoc, Mango Health, and WellDoc are delivering results.

Re-Imagining Health Care


Technology is prompting new ways to communicate and changing social behaviors. Apps are moving from a multi-purpose platform to a single purpose, individualized app. This allows apps to respond to thin-sliced market needs. This has huge potential impact for health care. It moves the health care data point from a WebMD multi-purpose health care platform to a personalized Mobile App your cardiologist provides to you based upon your specific genetic and lifestyle factors.

Apps changing how we live


Consider how we now shop and buy music and books, using iTunes and Amazon. A whole new world of where to stay when you travel is now available through Airbnb. Uber is disrupting the taxi business in major cities all over the world.

The doctor office visit… is there an app for that? Yep, it’s coming.

The Biggest Re-Imagination of All: People Enabled with Mobile Devices and Sensors Uploading Troves of Findable and Sharable Data


Let this trend sink in. Absorb how this is THE game changer for health care. Yes, privacy and security concerns about the data must be addressed. Privacy and security is an ongoing challenge. The financial services industry addressed it. Certainly a workable solution exists for health care.

Data mining of health care is already happening. Fitbilt, MyFitnessPal, and Jawbone are sensor and mobile platforms gathering data for fitness minded people to increase their levels of fitness and health.The data points reveal patterns to iterate fitness and training.

While health care data mining is in the early stages, it holds great promise for health breakthroughs and treatments. Zepher Health (mentioned on slide 88) gathers and organizes millions of health data points.

Multiple Screen Access and Delivery of Data


We consume and share data on multiple screens- TV, computer, tablets, phone, even computer systems in our cars. This changes the marketing dynamic. Marketers can no longer control messaging on a single screen and reach the masses. The golden age of TV advertising is over. Marketing messages must now be targeted to the audience and the screen being used.

Parting Thoughts…


There’s a lot to absorb in this report. I encourage you to spend time studying and reflecting on the slides and information KPCB presents in the trends report. Some of the insights are obvious. Perhaps a few will open your eyes.

The challenge is to take these trends and insights and connect the dots in building health IT products and services that lead to better, healthier lives.


photo by: Doc Searls  Some rights reserved




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