Data-Driven Disruption In Health – Are You Keeping Up?

Governments and healthcare organisations need to look beyond medical data

Estimates suggest that medical data will double every 73 days by 2020. Yet medical data – ‘sick’ data – only accounts for 10 per cent of the social determinants of health. The remaining 90 per cent of data – ‘non-sick’ data – is becoming more and more the focus of stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem, including the likes of Amazon, Google and Apple as data in the consumer space explodes.

The question to ask governments and healthcare organisations like the NHS is: why is there still so much attention on the 10 per cent of sick data, when it is the 90 per cent of non-sick data (made up of 30 per cent genomics and 60 per cent behavioural and social metrics) which holds the potential to deliver the most impact on peoples’ health?

Avoiding ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in healthcare

The world is rapidly changing and the growth in our knowledge and corresponding needs continues to accelerate. Data has grown in importance to the advancement of technology as well as to the daily lives of citizens. How can we promote more proactive health and self care, drawing from existing technologies to help individuals take more control of their health and wellness? How can we deliver better services on tighter budgets, especially with ageing populations suffering from ever more complex conditions? How can we ensure we are reaching hard to access, vulnerable people to avoid creating a digital divide of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’?  

These are the questions that the recent event on data-driven disruption held by D/SRUPTION and PA Consulting explored, with over 100 thought leaders and innovators.

Revolutionary treatments grounded in tech

Eric Kihlstrom, Tech entrepreneur and former Interim Director of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund for Healthy Ageing, kicked off the event by highlighting the growing importance of people becoming guardians of their own health, made easier with the explosion of devices collecting data on their health outside the medical setting. Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy on the value of their data and AI is providing new ways to predict needs and identify risks far earlier and more accurately than ever before. New concepts like data philanthropy, in which people donate their data for social good, could revolutionise population health and ageing research.

Steve Atkinson, CEO of Atlantic Therapies, is one of a new breed of entrepreneurs revolutionising access to new treatments that consumers urgently need but haven’t been on the market until now. Innovotherapy is the world’s first totally safe, painless, effective, non-intrusive therapy for stress urinary incontinence condition that affects one in three women and one in 10 men. Resembling a chic pair of cycling shorts, it uses electrical muscle stimulation to train the pelvic floor muscles back to normal.

Dr Keith Grimes, Clinical Innovation Director of Babylon Health, and Rachelle Mills, CEO of KareInn, represent innovations at different ends of the patient pathway but both harness real-time insights and use AI to help detect symptoms early, reduce preventable risks and provide better customer experience.

Caring about culture

The future is about giving people control over their data but it is culture, not the technology itself, that is holding up progress. This was the clear message put forward by Richard Phillips, Director of Healthcare Policy at the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), in a session moderated by Jonathan Pearson, partner at PA Consulting.  

Jonathan Sheffield, CEO, NIHR Clinical Research Network, felt that implantable biosensors would be the next big thing, while Kate Witkowska, Commercial Partnership Manager at Genomics England provided an interesting glimpse into the future of genomics as patients increasingly self-report their data – but cautioned on the need to reassure people about privacy and security.

It is clear that data-driven technologies will be crucial to help us keep people healthy, well, and living longer while reducing dependency on the system… And also to take advantage of the genomics revolution that is currently underway to deliver truly personalised health and care.

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