London is to pioneer the development, application and scale up of digital health innovation globally

HealthXL, a consortium of 22 global healthcare firms, hosted an international retreat of digital health experts in London to focus on improving the adoption of digital technologies in healthcare globally. Over the 2 days, the attendees reviewed specific healthcare challenges in areas including aged care, chronic disease management, and medication adherence. Using a framework developed by the healthcare innovation team at Imperial College's Institute of Global Health Innovation, led by Greg Parston (Executive Advisor to the Director), the group assessed the opportunity for digital technology to improve the quality of care and expand access while containing costs. Participants in the discussion: The attendees including 50 international senior executives including world renowned experts, including keynotes from:

  • Bill Taranto, President, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, who spoke on the role of venture capital, private equity and M&A to build ecosystems.
  • Esther Dyson, executive founder of the 5-to-10-year Way to Wellville initiative, shared her nonprofit’s experience helping five communities to improve the health of their residents, and discussed the need for a culture of accountability that measures and produces results.
  • Dr Adrienne Boissy, Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Experience Officer, shared lessons learned while scaling empathy in a healthcare system.
  • Steve Blank, creator of the Lean Startup movement, author and lecturer at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia, revealed how scaling in digital health is different from scaling in different tech verticals and spoke about the implementations of the Lean Startup in digital health. See the complete agenda.

Focus areas of the discussion: The group examined a number of digital health opportunities in terms of their ability to drive significant healthcare change. The panel assessed the key factors to scalability in the following areas: Customer Development. Key learning: It isn’t enough to have an inventive product or interesting technology. Steve Blank discussed why knowing your customers is critical to a startup’s success. He also spoke about challenges unique to digital health startups including navigating regulatory/reimbursement paths and creating commercialization strategies, and explained why big companies and U.S. government agencies are embracing Lean Startup methods. Aged Care. Key learning: The senior care market is complex and unique from other populations, comprising of a wide spectrum of physical and cognitive capabilities. A “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work for the senior care market. Empathy is a critical aspect of designing solutions for seniors, as reduced dexterity and strength require consideration in the design from outset.Download the report >> Sleep Disorders. Key learning: An abundance of solutions are measuring various physiological and environmental conditions related to sleep. Validated clinical utility and adoption are important factors for investors in the sleep space. Patients and clinicians struggle with issues from getting correct diagnosis right through to monitoring the success of prescribed treatment plans, these issues are opportunities for digital technology to play a vital role in. Download the report >> Medication Adherence. Key learning: Once the clinical requirements and patient needs have been verified and collaborative partnerships established, then venture capital is a key component to scaling. Download the report. As part of the discussion, Cleveland Clinic and HealthBeacon reviewed their medical adherence collaboration launched in the spring of 2015 (featured in MedCity News). Since the announcement HealthBeacon raised €1m in funding to roll out their internet of things solution internationally in 2016. The event was co-hosted by Bupa and Imperial College Healthcare Partners to coincide with the launch of DigitalHealth.London.

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