Promoting Wellness and Prevention Through Innovative Technology

The Inaugural Fortune Brainstorm Health Conference was held on November 1-2 in San Diego, bringing together industry leaders, government officials, and physicians to analyze opportunities for new technologies to disrupt and transform the healthcare industry.

In an expert panel discussing how to incentivize healthy living, CEO of GE Ventures Sue Siegel, Fitbit CEO James Park, Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Kathy Hudson, and Dr. Dana Goldman of USC emphasized the need for prevention instead of focusing solely on treatment. The group established the need to determine more explicative and universal metrics to measure wellness and to collect large amounts of data in order to analyze health patterns. The discussion is attached below.

James Park explained how technology like Fitbit that continuously monitors individual health can be integrated into electronic health records to improve physician visibility. By collecting more individual data, this technology allows for more screening, more personalized care, and a better ability to monitor how patients are responding to treatment. Since employers in the United States bear most of the cost of healthcare, Park stressed the importance of working along with companies to implement this wellness tracking technology, claiming that it has a positive return on investment that saves the average company $1,300 a year in healthcare costs.

In addition to private efforts to track individual health, the panel discussed the Precision Medicine Initiative, a large-scale research program led by the NIH to analyze health patterns of over one million participants. The group illustrated the tremendous potential of utilizing Big Data, but stressed that data security is the number one concern. They stated the importance of a patient bill of rights to prevent individual medical information from being shared with outside party.

Through new and innovative technology, the healthcare industry aims to work to better align the incentives of individuals with the general public and to promote healthy living.

Image Copyright: fkdkondmi / 123RF Stock Photo

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Jake Steele is a sophomore at Georgetown University studying finance and management. During his time at Consumers’ Research, he has examined developing trends in finance and technology.

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