Innovation in healthcare and start-ups

Digital health requires experience and involvement, it needs innovation and connectivity. In the U.S. and in Europe people have realized this. And you?

by Giulia Vento

Innovation in healthcare and start-ups
Innovation in healthcare and start-ups

The first flu, a bad fall, the first cold, the first medical examination, a consultation, the first antibiotic therapy.

When we tell of our life it is definitely not one of these experiences that we remember before any other. Yet, this is also a history. The history of a patient, or rather of a person before being considered a patient. The history of a person and another person, his or her physician.

Decades of prescriptions and therapies, medication, long waits at clinics or physicians’ surgeries, and of having to remember our turn’s number, have caused us as to consider ourselves more as diseases or clinical cases than as individuals, undermining our ability to talk about ourselves and at the same time to make ourselves heard. But all is not lost. Not in the era of digital health.

Social media and applications are redefining the relationship and renewing dialogue between physician and patient, between two people who begin to share and tell histories. And digital is the new language through with which they do this, the new language of health. A health made of connections and conversations, through content sharing tools and solutions of medical and clinical data; devices for the management of clinical practice, in a simple and somewhat more “human” manner; platforms for the treatment and monitoring of patients; through pictures and videos. Videos – you read that right – are the most immediate and engaging means of communication, even when their content has to do with health.

The reason for the effectiveness of this, as other technological means which are used in healthcare, is simple: our health is influenced by variables some of which have little or nothing to do with biological ones. Among these, or rather the first of these, is technology, which is clearly affecting medicine, radically and irreversibly transforming the healthcare industry. The advocates of this revolution, which many had been expecting for several years, are the start-ups which, needless to say, with lean structures and innovative ideas, are able to evolve more quickly than any other business enterprise, to meet the ever changing needs of the health market.

A figure close to four billion dollars in terms of investments in start-ups in the Healthcare sector could be enough to clarify the scope of a change that we will experience both as spectators and players for the next ten years. That same figure implies that only in the last year investments in digital health have exceeded the sum of those of the three previous years, resulting in a diffusion of innovative and low cost solutions for medical care, without harming the authority and reliability which a sector such as health is based on.

In this sense, the sharing of medical-scientific data, information and content through digital communication channels implies the need to simplify the interaction with the healthcare system and speed up diagnosis and treatment, although still making sure that all this takes place through certified actors capable of managing patients and pathologies.

The difference is, in a word: customization. The core of disruptive strategies, which effectively combine innovation and creativity in an offer that is univocal, but also adaptive, and that quite rightly some have dared to define “improvisational.” Namely, the ability to grasp or even better to anticipate the trends that, at ever-increasing pace, are characterizing the health market, hence to experience innovation to ground it in the reality of clinical practice.

To stand out, in the extraordinary convergence of health, marketing and technology, from the revolution that is affecting prevention and treatment is a challenge that large companies will find difficult to win.
Digital health requires experience and involvement, it needs innovation and connectivity. In the U.S. and in Europe people have realized this. And you?

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