The Future of Healthtech — And How These Companies Are Leading the Pack

by Janey Zitomer
November 21, 2019

When you consider the advancements of medicine and healthcare in the past century, not to mention the past decade, it’s difficult not to feel at least mildly astounded. 

Take, for example, the colonoscope, invented in the 1960s and not widely used in the U.S. until the mid ‘80s. The tool has innumerably improved the number and accuracy of procedures doctors were (and are) able to perform in outpatient settings. 

But that’s just the beginning. We spoke with five NYC healthcare companies about how they see technology infiltrating the field in ways we would have never considered in 1986. A trend that came up again and again? Machine learning integration. 

 

Blink Health team
Blink Health

As a population, we’ve mastered digital living. We get our groceries delivered straight to our front doors, order clothes from the comfort of our phones and bank directly from our laptops. So why are so many of us still picking up prescriptions at pharmacies?

Blink Health is all about bringing medication distribution into the 21st century. Eytan Seidman, EVP of product, told us how they do so using mobile. 

 

What does the future of healthcare technology look like? What technologies specifically are driving the industry’s evolution?

In the digital pharmacy space, the future of healthcare revolves around reducing medication costs and improving the overall pharmacy experience. At Blink Health, that means developing innovative and intuitive digital tools that increase transparency and ensure patients can access doctors’ prescriptions when they need them.

Today, one of our specific focuses is improving our mobile experience. Mobile represents a major portion of how customers interact with Blink Health, but the healthcare industry has not yet fully realized the capabilities of smartphones. Harnessing the power of that supercomputer in every person’s pocket will continue to be a major driver in the near future.

One of our specific focuses is improving our mobile experience.’’

 

How do you ensure your company stays on the cutting-edge of healthtech? What new technologies or products are you incorporating into your work?

Blink Health is addressing a huge problem at scale: ensuring that everyone, whether they are insured, underinsured or uninsured, has access to affordable medications. So to us, staying on the cutting-edge of healthtech means being intimately aware of the needs of our customers and being able to adapt to a constantly shifting marketplace. 

In order to provide all of our customers with the best experience possible, we’ve developed intuitive products that everyone can use. Our modern stack includes iOS and Android apps and leverages the power of AWS, which allows us to move fast and serve our customers as efficiently as possible. 

 

Pager team
pager

With patented Pager technology, CEO Walter Jin wants every customer to feel like there’s a doctor in the family. Whether it’s a potentially twisted ankle or yet another migraine, expert advice is often exactly what peace of mind calls for.

The AI-first, mobile platform allows patients to voice or video chat with clinicians, schedule follow ups, accept referrals and more.   

 

What does the future of healthcare technology look like? What technologies specifically are driving the industry’s evolution?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will drive the next wave of meaningful innovation in healthcare. Machine learning coupled with data science will synthesize enormous and disparate data sources from electronic health records, wearables and social determinants of health (SDOH) into tangible, actionable insights. AI will help automate costly and inefficient administrative labor into a digital workforce that is inexpensive, fast and scalable.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will drive the next wave of meaningful innovation in healthcare.’’

 

How do you ensure your company stays on the cutting-edge of healthtech? What new technologies or products are you incorporating into your work?

Pager is making significant investments in artificial intelligence to augment the patient-clinician experience, which we believe should remain the fundamental interaction in the delivery of care. Pager’s technology platform enables clinicians with superpowers to provide their patients with better access through virtual care, after-care follow-up and a personalized care experience; just like having a doctor in the family.

 

Zipari team

Advances in machine learning and healthcare have come a long way. But according to David Levy, SVP of product engineering at Zipari, this is just the beginning.

Zipari simplifies the health insurance relationship between carriers and customers and offers a CRM Salesforce integration. 

 

What does the future of healthcare technology look like? What technologies specifically are driving the industry’s evolution?

It’s well accepted that the future of healthcare technology is in machine learning. What’s most interesting is where the data will come from. Wearables and smart devices are becoming ubiquitous, creating a wealth of new and powerful health insights.

The Internet of Things has already made a recognized impact on the cost and longevity of industrial equipment across sectors. By leveraging low-cost, low-power, interconnected sensors and continuous monitoring to understand normal and anomalous operation, it’s possible to detect and address problems much earlier; avoiding costly or even dangerous situations.

It’s just a matter of time before we see a flashpoint in healthcare where these devices become the norm, people become more engaged in the impact of their lifestyle on their bodies and minds, and new healthcare standards emerge.

It’s well accepted that the future of healthcare technology is in machine learning.’’

 

How do you ensure your company stays on the cutting-edge of healthtech? What new technologies or products are you incorporating into your work?

Zipari stays on the cutting edge of healthtech because we love technology. For me, unending research is just a part of my life, whether through conferences, online publications or even better, getting my hands on something new (like a 3D printer to demonstrate prosthetics applications for fun).

In such a highly regulated field, we often have technology solutions well before we can leverage them for health consumers. A good example is cloud services. While we await regulatory advances, we stay on top of emerging standards and demand by networking with colleagues and customers. 

 

Amplicare team
amplicare

People like monogrammed mugs and pillows for a reason: personalization makes us feel important. The same is true for healthcare. Although, of course, a bit more is at stake.

CFO and Co-Founder Nathan Shanor recently told us how Amplicare, a decision-automation platform, personalizes their offerings so that pharmacies and patients alike see better results. 

 

What does the future of healthcare technology look like? What technologies specifically are driving the industry’s evolution?

Convenience and personalization will continue to drive the development of technologies that change the industry. Consumers want to be able to access their health information on demand. On top of this, only 12 percent of adults have proficient health literacy, so information must be digestible. We’re already seeing an increase in patients leveraging virtual assistant technologies, such as Alexa and Siri, for healthcare needs; be it finding a clinic or scheduling a physical doctor’s appointment or a digital visit via telemedicine.

On the pharmacy front, eCare (a documentation and communication process) will likely become more commonplace. It provides practitioners with a more robust picture of a patient’s health. Having access to this data will further improve the personalization of care.

Convenience and personalization will continue to drive the development of technologies that change the industry.’’ 

 

How do you ensure your company stays on the cutting edge of healthtech? What new technologies or products are you incorporating into your work?

We constantly receive feedback from our customers and keep a close eye on industry trends. Our flagship product Amplicare Match (formerly iMedicare) has evolved from being a reactive product that pharmacists would use when patients came in asking for Medicare Part D comparisons to a proactive one.

We now run millions of plan comparisons and identify patients most in need so pharmacies can target them for consultations. This saves their staff time and ensures maximum prescription drug savings for patients. We also created a patient-facing site to help users access this information from the convenience of their homes.

In the past few years, we have added more capabilities to our platform to address other aspects of care, such as nutrient depletion, immunizations, prescription adherence and patient communications. We partner with companies doing incredible work to provide pharmacies and patients an all-encompassing perspective of patient care. As we look toward the future, we will continue to enhance our solutions to be as convenient and personalized as possible.

 

Eden Health
Eden Health

Joey Leingang, vice president of engineering at Eden Health, is thinking big picture when it comes to tech-related advancements in the healthcare field. And we understand why: the platform offers employers primary and mental health care as a direct employee benefit.

When your coworker doesn’t consistently seem to be coughing up a lung, your whole team (and company) wins. 

 

What does the future of healthcare technology look like? What technologies specifically are driving the industry’s evolution?

It’s uncontroversial to suggest that advancements like machine learning or increasingly personalized biotechnology will dramatically alter the future of healthcare. Technology should allow us to shrink the gap between population-level health measures and individual outcomes. For example, we’ll see more use of artificial intelligence in assisting physicians in managing chronic conditions. Or exciting developments in the behavior health space will increase access to a necessary type of care for more people than ever.

The most important thing is to build a culture that strives for continuous improvement.’’ 

 

How do you ensure your company stays on the cutting-edge of healthtech? What new technologies or products are you incorporating into your work?

The most important thing is to build a culture that strives for continuous improvement. We try to measure ourselves qualitatively and quantitatively so that we can answer the hard questions around intent as well as expected outcomes. Doing this each sprint with every research spike and with every release allows us to learn new things and adjust all the time. 

 

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