Connecting Consumers to Healthcare

“The consumer role in healthcare is changing from passive to active” announced the Connected Health Summit in San Diego.

Produced by the research and industry analyst team at Parks Associates, the event delivered a powerful program for innovators everywhere.  Here I highlight the points that I believe are shifiting the economics and dynamics of the industry:

  • The greatest change in the ecosystem of health care is the movement from outside vendors to doctor led teams.
  • From 2014 to 2019 there will be $30 billion in new venture focusing on health care.
  • Apple, Google, and Samsung are entering this space. Both Lowes and Best Buy participated in the Summit. Both are involved in home automation.
  • With 600 million health care apps, what are the good ones? Where will the trusted source come from?
  • Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), incentive dollars are allowed. This enables the creation of economic incentives to consumers to improve their health.
  • Coaching will be a new area that taps into intrinsic as well as underlying motivation to enable behavior modification to improve health, based on a clinical study with Kaiser Permanente.  It has to be part of an integrated system to have the greatest benefits.
  • The Wellness Market (Life Coaching, Wellness Centers, Diet & Nutrition, Incentives & Rewards, Wellness Assessments, Fitness Tracking, Alternative Medicine, and Employee & Work Life Assistance) is outcome focused and less regulated than the medical market.
  • SaaS (Software as a Solution) is the technology that is changing the wellness ecosystem. The technology is estimated at $40 Billion in revenues with up to 20% focused on wellness.  Parks Associates recent data projects the wellness sector to reach $8 Billion in 2018.
  • Investment in digital health is up 87% in the 1st quarter of 2014 alone with thousands of connected health devices and wellness apps.
  • The population is going mobile with 1.25 billion smart phones – more than all TVs  ever built. Every generation is showing significant growth in smart phone use.  It is not just for Boomers, Millenials or the youngest – the Digitals.
  • Mobile health device development is being driven by preference and context. The consumer sets the preferences and the context is the location and environment of the consumer.


  • Health literacy vital signs, innovative healthcare systems and teachable moments for consumers will be a driving factor in the health ecosystem.
  • Today’s challenge is in senior and patient care in the home. Sensors in the home coupled with AI algorithms are growing areas in assessing behavior patterns and facilitating care options. Remote patient monitoring is entering the home.
  • Consumers are demanding data security and protection of health information.
  • Four challenges face today’s innovator: Making health data useful, engaging patients, enabling self care, and expanding health consumer choices.
  • The areas moving digital health medicine forward are consumers taking charge of their health and video telemedicine. The inhibiting factor is the lack of sustained motivation among consumers.

Speakers and information sources included over 50 presenters and panelists and included a keynote from Chris Nicholson, VP and COO, Humana Wellness that included much of the information above. Other presenting companies included Masimo, the American Heart Association, AARP, Wallgreens, the Consumer Electronics Association (the CES organization), Intel-GE Innovations, as well as successful startups  Doctor on Demand and venture capitalist Asset Management Ventures.

By: Dan Charobee, MBA

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.