With more than 300,000 health apps available on google play and itunes, and a proliferation of health technologies recently brought to market, it is fair to say that the last few years have seen a significant amount of hype in the digital health space.
But how much of this technology can really be embedded into the Australian healthcare system; and what constitutes a strong digital health product?
James Dromey of Murdoch Children’s Research Institute believes digital health is less to do with the technology itself, and more to do with the healthcare problems it intends to solve.
“Shift the focus the wrong way and we risk oversupplying or delivering low value products that don’t address the real issues faced by the health system, health practitioners, patients and consumers”, says James.
Progress in digital health over the last few years has been promising, but James argues that a greater focus on technology validation, clinical trial models, regulatory frameworks and business models is needed.
Companies like WellDoc and Pear Therapeutics are paving the way in this arena. Both firms have undertaken extensive clinical evaluation, have developed strong, sustainable business models and have received FDA approval for their digital products.
In a highly fragmented industry, James also stresses the importance of a multi-disciplinary team approach in digital health, as well as a strong commercialization plan that is developed early.
“Initiatives like ANDHealth are important to bring the thinking about commercialization and sustainable business models early. Too often great digital health solutions are built to address a problem, but the really hard questions around who pays are left to the end”, says James.
James Dromey will share the experience of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in developing evidence-based digital health products and learnings from the commercialization and implementation of the these technologies in healthcare at the Innovate Health Conference – due to take place 26-27 June 2018 at the InterContinental Melbourne.