Getting past the better ping…
It’s over forty years since the first personal wireless telecare products came to market. Over the years, along with many others, I’ve been writing about their potential and the opportunity they present to save healthcare costs and by extension, our healthcare systems. Five years ago, many of us got excited when the Tricorder Prize was announced, with the promise of a Star Trek-like device that would diagnose multiple conditions being demonstrated by 2015. That deadline has now slipped to 2017, but it’s not stopped a plethora of new healthcare devices being announced in the meantime, helped along by the twin vogues of crowdfunding and lifestyle.
So where are all of these digital health devices? If you visit a hospital or GP, they’re mostly noticeable by their absence. Startups are coming and going with ever greater rapidity, whilst healthcare costs grow relentlessly. What is stopping digital health devices fulfilling their potential? At the recent Future of Wireless International conference, I chaired a session with speakers from within the medical device community and working at the sharp end of healthcare, who shared their views about the challenges. It was one of the most brutally honest and candid discussions I’ve come across, which deserves to be heard by anyone entering this market. So here is a precis of their essential advice for any digital health startup. Continue →