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Why Health Solution Announcements from Apple, Google and Salesforce are Good for Healthcare Innovators like NexJ

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Sometimes the future comes faster than you expect.  Last summer I heard Peter Diamandis, futurist and founder of X-Prizes which develops a spectrum of innovations including commercial spaceflights to a working Star Trek-like tricorder. In his talk, Peter described a futuristic scenario in which health tracking devices would monitor vital statistics, compile them in a single personal repository, and automatically notify your healthcare providers when necessary. Announcements this spring and summer from Apple, Google and Salesforce appear to be rapidly making that formerly futuristic scenario a reality.

  • Apple Healthkit will enable users to compile statistics like footsteps, heart rate and sleep activity from third-party fitness and health-monitoring hardware. Apple announced that the Mayo Clinic has already retooled one of its apps to enable Healthkit to notify the hospital proactively if a patient’s vital signs seem concerning.
  • Google’s “Fit”, their response to Apple’s Healthkit, is a platform to enable Android and health devices to interface. It is an open source approach with the underlying aim of amassing data and eyeballs to monetize advertising. Consumers will need to feel comfortable with Google profiting from their health data.
  • Salesforce-Philips Healthcloud will combine Salesforce’s cloud computing platform with Philips medical technologies to help patients and care providers connect with each other. They are starting with two applications to help caregivers track the condition of patients living at home with chronic conditions.

Wired magazine suggests that announcements like this could boost the well-being of an entire ecosystem of healthcare technology companies. “Just as Facebook’s success helped fuel the success of more specialized social networks — including LinkedIn, Polyvore, and Nextdoor [big players entering] the ‘quantified self’ movement introduces the masses to ideas that can help them understand other, more specialized products in the same space.”

What do these announcements mean for NexJ Connected Wellness? The ability to collect data from any health devices, compile it in a single repository and allow patients to share it appropriately could be great for patients and providers. The ability to connect patients and providers is also highly valuable. Yet data and connection alone are not sufficient to improve patient outcomes at lower costs. Data needs to be transformed into actionable knowledge and wisdom to adopt new behaviors. Patients need specialized tools to help them 1) learn and remember what their healthcare professionals share, 2) meaningfully participate in decision-making about their care, and 3) adopt and maintain new behaviors with the right support and encouragement.

NexJ Connected Wellness is a specialized solution – a cloud-based platform for activating patients in managing their own health and health care with better education, collaboration and motivation. The evidence linking patient activation with improved outcomes and lowered costs is clear and compelling [link]. Connected Wellness has been built based on this evidence, and is also backed by several independent research trials.

We welcome the entry of Apple, Google and Salesforce into the healthcare space. The personal data management and connection they offer is highly valuable.  We think they will likely increase demand for specialized solutions that help patients constructively participate in self-management, adopt new lifestyle behaviors and become true partners with their professional healthcare team.