Last week we went to Berlin to take part in Frontiers Health 2018 and understand the new challenges of digital health
What we all already know is that technologies have transformed whole industries, think of the music or publishing world, but their impact on an important and complex sector such as health is really to be explored. Our correspondent was Floriano, a managerial past in a multinational in the e-health sector and more recently founder of Collabobeat , the Slack for the doctor and the cancer patient, of which we at Airbag are technical partners.
The most incredible experiences
Among the most discussed topics in the field of digital health, it is certainly worth mentioning that of the digital therapeutics . In short, these are apps that have the purpose of preventing, managing or treating a disease, whose impact on the patient has been scientifically proven, similar to the effectiveness of a drug therapy, before being put on the market. Nowadays, apps have to prove that they fit into this definition to be taken seriously by the market.
The beginning could not be among the most fascinating listening to the co-founder and CEO of Proteus Digital Health , an American company that has raised more than half a billion dollars of investment to bring to market the first pill that, just ingested, begins to communicate with our smartphone.
If you believe it is science fiction, know instead that it was recently approved by the FDA, the certification body of American drugs, as fully functional and obviously safe for the body. The pill contains a small ingestible sensor that sends a signal when it reaches the stomach. The sensor in turn communicates the information of some parameters to a patch worn by the patient, which are then transmitted to a mobile device. The technology could therefore help chronic and elderly patients, especially with Alzheimer’s or disabling mental illness, manage the care and allow caregivers to monitor their health. 50% of patients with chronic diseases in developed countries do not take medications as prescribed, limiting the effectiveness of the treatment. The benefits of digital health are not just in terms of adherence to medical therapy: the paradigm shift will allow savings on the US health system of $ 300 billion.
We then had the opportunity to discover Kaia , an app that treats back pain thanks to a virtual physiotherapist who offers the user a series of physical exercises checking that they are performed correctly and constantly thanks to an algorithm based on artificial intelligence.
Italy has been well represented by Amicomed , app for the management of arterial hypertension, an asymptomatic disorder (therefore without specific manifestations) that if not kept below a certain threshold, can lead to cerebral stroke or heart attack. Amicomed can boast a large number of scientific studies, presented in the most important world congresses, which shows that the benefits of using the app are comparable or better than those of classic drugs.
Which players and which scenarios?
We have also heard the voice of big players in the sector such as insurance, that is, organizations that can reimburse patients in the purchase and use of this type of app, in a way similar to how they reimburse medicines.
In the space available, Allianz has been very open and direct: it does not have the skills to offer its customers this new type of products and has no intention of acquiring them, if not collaborating with young companies, born for this purpose.
A similar approach has been witnessed by the many pharmaceutical companies present at Frontiers Health: as a sponsor or with interventions on the stage or among the spectators present, which we have been able to bring together on numerous networking occasions. The impression we had when comparing with companies of the caliber of Bayer , Sandoz , Dompé and others is that there is no better time to devote body and soul to the introduction of digital technologies in the e-Health world. There is an entire industry to evolve, better if at the speed of light!
Airbag Studio he believes in digital health and its benefits for patients, collaborations with already established companies or projects in a more embryonic phase such as Collabobeat, after all, are proof of this. We are happy to have found only confirmations to an event renowned and respected as Frontiers Health .
See you at the next edition!