“Grand Rounds” at consumer tech show in Vegas

This article was originally posted on Becker’s Hospital Review

CES Physicians Tour Showcases Convergence of Personal Health Diagnostics and Telehealth Communications

Las Vegas – Physicians from a broad swath of specialties and practitioners from leading hospital systems like Mayo Clinic and UCLA Health made the rounds at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this month to see the latest in personal health devices and health reporting platforms. Over twenty such medical professionals, eight of whom are associated with large hospital systems, got a sneak preview of big data analytics and reporting tools.

The questions on many minds focused on patients: “how much is too much” and “how can I synthesize this information to care for patients.”

The Consumer Technology Association just released new research on Digital Therapeutics right after the largest electronics trade show proving what many understood firsthand at CES – the future is already here. With treatment of chronic illness through patient communications devices a reality, CTA sees a near future of Artificial Intelligence and patient touchpoints becoming automated.

Dr. Drew Cheng, a practicing anesthesiologist and leader in bioinformatics at UCLA Health School of Medicine in Los Angeles, said he was the first-ever CES attendee from UCLA. He felt it was his duty to join the CTA-sponsored Physicians Tour of the health and wellness marketplace show and attend the concurrent Digital Health Summit conference.

“We are slowly approaching a convergence of consumer level devices with practitioners and even industry-level or hospital system-wide technology systems,” said Dr. Cheng. “We usually just rely on the devices (which reside) in our hospitals now to influence our decisions. To change clinical behaviors, that line between consumer and clinical devices is becoming blurred and more converged.”

“How this data is presented to the physician or the practitioner is just as important as how it’s collected,” he said.

“If we want to lower costs and increase efficiency, we are going to have to rely more on patient-centered data and therapeutics; that is patient managed,” Dr. Cheng said. “That is a puzzle we are really trying to solve right now.”

Steve Koenig, senior director of Market Research at the CTA, curated and guided the Physicians Tour on-site in Las Vegas. After the show, we sat down with Koenig at CTA offices in Alexandria to see a sneak preview of the Digital Therapeutics study.

“CES and our Health and Wellness Marketplace are all about sharing digital health innovation,” said Koenig. “Hospitals and practitioners want better patient outcomes and every professional has a universal desire to care for patients. These new health IT and medical tech innovations are about improving patient care. We know that health and med tech innovation is having a game-changing impact in making life better for people.”

“These Technology solutions will lead to healthier, longer lives,” he said.

CTA predicted that in five to seven years doctors and hospital teams will be seeing more Artificial Intelligence supporting patient care. Data is like “experience” to an AI system, says the CTA report. So the AI component can make precision real-time adjustments in patient care, prescriptions or other triage using data.

“As we bridge to the data age of consumer technology, more and more decisions are real-time,” said Koenig. “Having more data behind healthcare is so important. The quantified health metrics will be more and more connected with physicians in real-time and that could be essential.”

Bioinformatics and Personal Health Meets Telehealth
According to Dr. Clinton Phillips, CEO of Medici, a personal health communications platform which is an App that opens a line of communications between Doctor and Patient, there is an intersection or convergence happening in personal healthcare.

“Patient-centered healthcare means the patient is engaged in their healthcare. We believe this shift is happening rapidly. If last year’s trend was about ‘wearables’, this year’s trend is now about ‘shareables’ as we look to share our data with our healthcare providers.”

“Our application Medici plans to be central in this paradigm shift.” Dr. Phillips was invited to the CES Physicians Tour to compare telehealth and biometric technologies.

“CTA predicts more real-time patient monitoring and physician or hospital care plan follow-up. The coming intersection with AI could be assistive to doctors. “We cannot create more time in the day for physicians but we can support the analysis and data search for doctors,” said CTA’s Koenig.

‘’Healthcare diagnosis and chronic therapy is not only event-driven,” said Koenig. Now, Doctors will have the exec summary that they need to make decisions or modify the medication and even understanding when “we are now looking at surgery.”

Dr. Cheng offered a cautionary tale in that information and big data in a vacuum is not going to help a primary care doctor: “We have to synthesize data and augment existing processes – at the hospital setting –and it will take changes on the hospital side and physician training, as well, to start accommodating telemedicine or remote diagnostics from personal health devices in our practices.”

Mike Smith is a writer for Becker’s based in Washington, DC. He also serves on the government affairs committee of BIO – the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Reach him at: [email protected]

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Becker’s Hospital Review/Becker’s Healthcare. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.