The US healthcare system is facing several challenges, including rising costs, clinician shortages, and the need for improved efficiency and effectiveness. Digital healthcare can help address these challenges by leveraging technologies such as telehealth, remote patient monitoring, health apps, and AI solutions. 

Figures from GlobalData show the value of digital therapeutics-related deals have grown by 129% (2018-2023) with companion apps becoming an increasing priority for life science firms.  

Huma offer their insights – don’t forget the patient! 

Courtney DeSisto Obecny, Vice President of Operations and Growth Marketing at Huma, the healthcare technology company, tells us that although there are many amazing technologies out there, we must never forget the human aspect, and this is where some previous wearable devices have failed. 

“I think sometimes why they don’t necessarily take off is the amount of interaction and engagement of the patients,” she says. “People don’t want to spend hours thinking about their disease or their health, we have a very busy life. Where (Huma) has focused is around passive technology. How do we collect the information that we need, by asking for as little time as possible (ideally no time at all) from the patient? 

“This is particularly resonant for patients with chronic illness (where they will need monitoring for the rest of their lives). You don’t want it to be the whole focus – it’s not sustainable for the patients. You can have the best technology in the world, but if nobody is going to use it, you are not actually going to get the data (or) adoption.” 

Jessica Cormier-Breslin, Director of Clinical Services for the US at Huma, says that some patients have issues with technology generally. 

“We have a lot of patients for whom technology is difficult or something they’re not used to using,” she notes. “At Huma we are trying to make it easier and accessible for them to understand. A wearable allows passive data to be transferred – so we’re getting heart rate, we’re getting sleep data, we’re getting oxygenation respiratory rates. The battery lasts for a long time…it’s minimal and becomes part of their daily routine.” 

The key to successfully implementing digital technology is incremental but meaningful steps, says Kaushik Gune, head of healthcare for the US at Huma. Transforming healthcare is challenging, he tells us, and you must ensure that you are taking everyone along with you: 

“For patients with chronic conditions, many of their hospitalizations happen because we’re not taking care of their condition upstream. With more data, you can make better clinical decisions, faster.”