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Digital Health: Gaining a Competitive Advantage

  Apr 21, 2017 | By Michelle Maskaly [1]   Imagine asking someone who their primary care physician is, and them responding by saying it’s their iPhone. That could be the future of digital health. Digital health is one of those industry buzzwords that make healthcare executives both excited and nervous. Excited, because it’s seen as innovative, cutting edge, and can create potential for new programs and ideas. Nervous, because of cost, regulations, and the reality that it could mean a complete overhaul of the way a pharmaceutical or healthcare company has traditionally done business. What’s driving the digital health trend? It’s actually very simple. The answer is, mobile devices. “We no longer go online, we live online,” said David Blair, head of industry–health for Google, during his presentation at eyeforpharma’s Philadelphia conference this week. “It’s no wonder you can’t list your iPhone as your primary care doctor.” If you think this isn’t the case, consider the statistic Blair cited–there are four-times as many Android devices activated every minute than babies born. He also explained that time spent online is up 33 percent in just four years. Patients are increasingly taking more control of their healthcare options, and as they spend more time on their mobile devices, they can, “swipe you out of the way, or click on you, and engage.” “There is a massive shift in point-of-care,” Blair explained. “We can provide care anywhere. We no longer have to go to a physical location.” Now that we know mobile devices are playing such a large part in healthcare these days, what’s the secret sauce to capitalizing on it? “Make...