Can biosen­sor mar­ket de­liver on its po­ten­tial?

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT - By Dr. Prakash Pa­tel

Im­plantable and wear­able biosen­sor com­mu­ni­ca­tions and the data they gen­er­ate have the po­ten­tial to sig­nif­i­cantly change the mul­ti­tril­lion-dol­lar health­care in­dus­try. What still might sound like sci­ence fic­tion to some is now at our doorstep, but the ques­tion is whether the com­po­nent parts can be melded to cre­ate a new in­dus­try that will change health­care as we know it.

To bring this tech­nol­ogy to life, health­care lead­ers will need to ex­tract and har­ness the game-chang­ing in­sight and knowl­edge that “big data” can of­fer. What will it take? We’ll need to link sen­sors on and around the pa­tient and through a wide va­ri­ety of de­vices (such as catheters, joint re­place­ments, car­diac de­vices, etc.); com­mu­ni­cate the data in real time to the pa­tient and health­care de­ci­sion­mak­ers; and cre­ate novel re­im­burse­ment ap­proaches for all of this.

Such a sys­tem will fi­nally en­able us to ac­cess data that can tell a deeper pa­tient story in near real-time by ap­ply­ing pre­dic­tive an­a­lyt­ics and data mod­el­ing, which will al­low for more in­formed de­ci­sions about care that pro­duces cost sav­ings, re­duces read­mis­sions and im­proves over­all health­care out­comes.

It also de­mands a clear vi­sion, a vi­able busi­ness model, strate­gic po­si­tion­ing and a deep un­der­stand­ing of the var­i­ous con­stituents, in­clud­ing pa­tients, providers, man­u­fac­tur­ers and pay­ers. To cre­ate a fully in­te­grated im­plantable biosen­sor com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try pow­ered by big data, we need to con­sider three crit­i­cal guid­ing prin­ci­ples: mea­sur­able and mean­ing­ful re­turn on in­vest­ment, (e.g., safety, qual­ity, cost sav­ings), for all stake­hold­ers to be en­gaged and aligned; pre­dic­tive al­go­rithms to sep­a­rate the “noise” in the data from truly ac­tion­able in­for­ma­tion; and in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity (e.g., biosen­sors with med­i­cal records and other tech­nolo­gies) that en­ables a more com­plete view of a pa­tient’s health di­rected by the pa­tient, while pro­tect­ing pri­vacy and safety.

The biosen­sor mar­ket will evolve un­pre­dictably but will cer­tainly save lives, en­hance the ef­fec­tive­ness of pre­ven­tion and treat­ment, and cre­ate an ex­cit­ing new mar­ket for for­ward-think­ing in­vestors and en­trepreneurs.

Dr. Prakash Pa­tel is founder and cochair of the biosen­sor work­group of the Health­care In­for­ma­tion and Man­age­ment Sys­tems So­ci­ety, a mem­ber of the Stan­dards Com­mit­tee of URAC, and CEO of surgery and im­plant man­age­ment com­pany Ac­cess MediQuip.

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