Digital.

Innovation.

Patient Power.

These were the main things taken away from the three days. It was a far cry from my usual gloomy London commute. No longer was I nose-deep in an investment banker’s armpit, but on the Metro heading to the Health 2.0 Conference, in Barcelona!

Digital Healthcare and Personalised Medicine is not the future, it is NOW! However, digital health has come a long way, even within the last 5 years or so.

The Mobile World Centre looks as imposing as the picture suggests

The Mobile World Centre looks as imposing as the picture suggests

The first day was spent with investors, venture capitalists and experts within the Digital Healthcare industry. We were all there to watch different startup businesses pitch their ideas, and to also show how far they have come with their company. They were all part of an ‘accelerator programme’: Startupbootcamp Digital Health.

In a nutshell, it is a dedicated accelerator for innovative startups that combine medical knowledge with smart technologies, with special focus on behaviour change, diagnostics and genomics, big data and analytics.

The presentations were far too engaging for us to take a picture after they started!

The presentations were far too engaging for us to take a picture after they started!

All of the apps and ideas were good and if implemented well, would solve a problem, such as enabling better self-management of disease. Giving ‘Power to the Patient’ is important in letting them take control of their chronic health problems. ‘Wearable tech’ combined with these apps is already making a difference to chronic disease management, such as with diabetes.

Digital healthcare advancement will make the work of a doctor different, and more successful.

We are in a time of change in medicine, as technology is finally catching up with it. It is going to be one of the last industries to be digitalised, but I am sure it will leave one of the biggest impacts.

Many of the speakers agreed that solving ‘un-met needs’ is key in achieving this goal.

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Brits are also keeping up with innovative changes in healthcare. One of the startups, DrEd.com, is an online Doctor. The website makes it easy for patients to communicate with online doctors to manage their health and order prescription medication. Since its inception, it has treated over 100,000 patients.

Some of the startups that were presented really stood out. Those apps that were solving a simple, but important problem hit home the most. Those with a friendly user interface and a personal service to each customer, in my opinion, will be the most successful.

So what does the future hold?  Advancing with, and then moving on from Digital Healthcare.

  • Personalised healthcare?
  • Patient power?
  • Automation of traditional jobs by robots?
  • Mass Unemployment?
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Man vs. Machine?

 

We want to make our lives easier, but these new technologies must be applied in a way which is safe, sensible and will always put the human ‘customer’ in full control.

Seeing these startups in Barcelona giving pitches and demonstrations of their apps has inspired me even more, to pursue my goal of creating a Digital Healthcare business. But, more than this it has cemented the fact that we are in a time of ‘Disruptive Innovation’ and the way that healthcare is delivered is being transformed.

About The Author

Louis Clack

Louis is a Medical Student in his third year at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. He has a deep interest in Digital Healthcare, Personalised Medicine, Medical Leadership, startups and Entrepreneurship. He currently works as a Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant and is in the process of developing an online business.

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