The rising number of seniors and the rising cost of care are making technologies that can provide services like remote care delivery critically important, requiring a focus on innovation to keep costs down.
Brian Hozler, CEO of Lacuna Health, Sherwin Sheik, CEO of CareLinx, and Sumit Nagpal, CEO of Cherish Health — in a panel moderated by Justin Gernot, vice president of Healthbox — agree that “healthcare is coming home,” which means using digital tools to identify rising risks for people in their own homes.
“It’s about the ‘check engine light’ in the home, and there are many technologies that can help us do that,” Nagpal said. “That’s what allows us to avoid expensive measures like ambulance rides and keep costs down.”
Over time, he warned, the fascination with the technology fades – as with wearables – and that needs to be taken into consideration when deploying advanced biometric devices in the home.
Building on what Nagpal said, Holzer pointed out care needs to shift to lower-cost settings with future investment in digital health, but it needs to be an artful combination of data analytics, digital tech platforms and the human touch.
“These have to come together to create new models of care that cannot only deliver more cost effectively, but are more clinically effective, and that is not trivial,” Holzer said.
“You’re also seeing a convergence of consumerism on top of those trends, where patients and their families are simply demanding that care be given in places that are more convenient and deliver better outcomes at a lower cost.”
Sheik noted the majority of healthcare occurs in the last 10 years of life, and the trend of moving healthcare homeward for the aging Baby Boomer generation presents a huge logistical challenge.
“When you get these devices in the home, we need to make sure families, and caregivers, and patients are trained on how to use these devices, especially the devices that are going to move the needle on cost and outcomes,” Sheik said.
All agreed a holistic approach to this logistical challenge is where a lot of investment will have to be made.
“Some of the regulatory changes and structural changes we are seeing are what makes me optimistic about the future,” Sheik added. “But there needs to be some financial hedging of these fee-for-service models and the level of risk undertaken.”