I’m pretty sure that CES (Consumer Electronic Show), held annually each January in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the largest conference/consumer show in the country. If you can plug it into a wall or charge a battery by any means, ‘it’ becomes a ‘thing’ at the show–and more likely than not is also ‘internet’ enabled. So there you have the ever-growing Internet of Things, or for healthcare, the Internet of Healthy Things. All of these make data, which will go somewhere, and undoubtedly early adopters might very well show up to a clinic with information from these items and ask for a second opinion.
Here are some notable products CES 2017:
A Smart hairbrush that measures hair health and the force applied to hair when brushing
The Smart Cane that detects when someone falls (and has an embedded GPS system)
A Smart insole that fits into your shoe and helps you understand how to walk more efficiently
A wireless ECG/EKG monitor that connects to Apple’s Health app
The Mint ‘breathometer’ that monitors your oral health
Being the data ‘Debbie Downer’ that I usually am, I can only imagine the false alarms and data confusion that may occur.
- Did you drop your cane or did a pet knock it over causing a false alarm?
- Does your dermatologist agree to consider your hair strength analytics as proof thinning?
- Can your insoles survive a run in the rain?
- With the Mint end up being mostly a passive-aggressive gift?
While many of these items are probably fads, the penetrance of Apple and its HealthKit into this market cannot be denied. Apple is expected to increase its healthcare footprint this year and is known to be working with numerous EHR vendors to enable patient-requested exchange of data.
In the patient-reported outcomes space, data coming from these apps and one-off devices will only continue. A competitive differentiator for healthcare systems (and their analysts) will continue to be in part how they decide to leverage this as a resource.