Ah yes, even fish have a better medical record system than we do.
There’s a small kernel of wisdom to take away from this joke: agriculture is using machine vision/biometrics to identify livestock at an individual level, and yet humans don’t have a good unique patient identification system. This makes tying together datasets and following patients along a care continuum a data nightmare.
When HIPAA was introduced, it initally mandated unique patient identifiers — but Congress struck this down, citing privacy concerns. The irony is that many systems use social security numbers, which are a MUCH less secure.
There’s a big opportunity to building this identity layer for healthcare. This could be a combination of facial recognition and another biometric identity marker like a thumbprint.
There are likely multiple ways to solve this: Apple can combine its facial recognition + thumbprint database with health records, someone could deploy hardware solutions as a faster check-in mechanism at doctor’s offices, etc. Watching countries like India with biometric identifiers (Aadhar) could give some clues into the trials and tribulations of deploying a system like this.
Change of heart
Cardiovascular disease and risk has been a very hot area for innovation in the last few years thanks to a large and growing market. For expert intelligence clients, we looked at patent analytics, funding, earnings calls, and more to understand where in the cardiovascular space companies are focusing their efforts and who the leaders in those areas are. Expert intelligence clients can see the research here.
Developments in the cardiovascular disease field are particularly fascinating to watch, because breakthroughs around better detection are happening quickly, thanks to machine learning. Apple’s ECG in the watch is one example; HeartFlow is another. HeartFlow created a non-invasive diagnostic tool for blockages in coronary arteries that uses CT scans, computational fluid dynamics, etc. to evaluate how serious a blockage is.
We’re even seeing tech-enabled cardiovascular clinics like Hearbeat raising money to focus on the more upstream causes of cardiovascular disease (my thesis: all specialties become primary care the more preventive they try to become). I’m sure more digital therapeutics in the area will arrive soon.
As we said before, one version of the unbundling of the hospital will be separating specialties into these tracks that handle as much virtually and outside of the hospital as possible. The new stack is being built to enable this (though it’ll be a while until evidence proves this lowered costs).
Innovate to greatness
We put together a list of 19 healthcare corporate innovation teams who are thinking about their organizations’ role in healthcare in the future. See the teams, their key players, and main strategic objectives here.
At our TRANSFORM event I’ll be presenting a FAMGA (Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Apple) in healthcare briefing over breakfast on December 5th. Register today with this special code FAMGA and save $750.