Why we need to fix the broken technology pipeline for digital medicine now

When it comes to health information technology, innovative ideas and businesses abound . The downstream improvements in outcomes or costs of care resulting from these innovations have, however, been disappointing to date.

To illustrate this observation, there is no better example than the limited results achieved through massive investment in electronic health records (EHRs). Another can be found in the wearable technology market of $ 28.7 billion. A recent randomized controlled clinical trial found that people using body technologies lost less weight in 24 months than those who changed their lifestyle.

This finding is disappointing, but unfortunately not unusual – even if it generates such excitement and investment in these innovations, less than optimal or even negative results clearly show that we have not yet fully determined the potential of HIT.

Some may attribute this underperformance to the complexities and general attributes of the health care sector, but we, as members of the Digital Data Network (NODE), are not in agreement. Just look to the drug and device industries to see examples of much more mature and effective, albeit flawed, processes that have served as a guide for innumerable innovations ranging from development to implementation. on the scale and the implementation.

An unmanageable HIT ecosystem (or pipeline of innovation), particularly related to digital medicine, has developed, in which innovators create products and then struggle to navigate complex and opaque needs health systems.

End-users may not be familiar with a particular innovation, but they can rest assured that the drug or device in question has passed a rigorous evaluation conducted by the FDA. There are no such guidelines or assessments to serve / for the HIT innovation community.

Medical institutions, meanwhile, struggle to sort vaporware and correctly identify legitimate and promising innovations in digital medicine.

Despite major investments in HIT, the development of drugs and devices seems to surpass that of HIT innovation – why? This may ultimately be due to the maturity of the innovation pipeline in these three segments of the health system. The pipeline of drugs and devices is much more standardized, academic and regulated than that of HIT, and it is this level of sophistication that allows consistent production of new drugs and devices.

It is clear that HIT must develop an evolved comparable pipeline; It is only then that this sector will have a chance to benefit from a stable and reliable flow of achievable innovations.

Neil Carpenter is Vice President of Strategy, Research and Transformation – LifeBridge Health and wrote this article on behalf of NODE Health . a consortium of more than 25 health systems to support evidence-based digital medicine.

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