The shift from fee-for-service to value-based care was a major theme of this year’s JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. In this new regime, there’s pressure on healthcare providers and insurance companies to collect and share patient EHR data in innovative ways to improve outcomes.

At a panel discussion hosted by Clover Health, product leaders highlighted emerging opportunities for healthcare data & analytics. Clover’s insurance platform aims to reduce healthcare cost by promoting better home care & preventative screenings. Omada Health uses “digital therapeutics” to treat chronic diseases like diabetes at scale by facilitating lifestyle change. Grand Rounds connects a company’s employees with healthcare specialists to improve diagnosis & treatment. 

The entrepreneurs addressed the challenges of scaling data-driven health platforms. Grand Rounds collects patient medical records from physicians, including medical tests and imaging. It uses technology to integrate “data siloes” across different hospital systems to build a standardized patient database, which feeds its recommendation engine. Clover Health highlighted the challenge of ingesting claims data from different formats at scale and making it useful and readable.

At the Startup Showcase hosted by athenahealth, 25 entrepreneurs presented an even wider array of digital health tools. Among the notable ones:

Workflow: GenID provides an EMR-integrated tool to identify and screen people who are at risk for hereditary cancers. The Right Place is a platform for improving the hospital discharge & care coordination process.

Patient Experience: Buddy Healthcare provides a care coordination platform for monitoring patients pre- and post-surgery. GoodLife’s platform delivers better rehab treatment compliance and outcomes. 

Population Health: SageSurfer is on a mission to improve mental health and substance misuse issues by coordinating care among healthcare providers. Project Vision helps obese and diabetic patients overcome social & environmental barriers.

Data & Analytics: Multisensor Diagnostics is developing a device that measures 8 vital signs via the mouth, to deliver a full health assessment in 1 minute. Deep 6 Analytics applies artificial intelligence and natural language processing to EMRs to find eligible patients for clinical trials more quickly.

It will take time for the healthcare industry to fully embrace this digital transformation. The challenges for hospitals in collecting, standardizing and sharing EHR data are well documented. 

Likewise, employers and insurance companies are taking a cautious approach to adopting digital tools to help people manage chronic health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. 

Omada Health recently became the first digital health company to publish results in a peer-reviewed journal. The company's program participants were able to achieve lasting reductions in body weight and average blood sugar levels – critical indicators of diabetes progression.

To gain wider adoption, more digital health startups will need to show they can improve healthcare quality, reduce cost and keep people out of the hospital.

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