How Obama Shaped The Future Of Digital Health
As the new candidates have already been chosen and America wants to make history again with the 1st ever woman president, after an African-American president, it’s important to dwell upon one of the biggest initiatives by President Obama: Healthcare reforms i.e. Obamacare. The best yardstick to understand how well the Affordable Care Act is working is to look back and see how far has it impacted the society since its inception. Although drug costs are going up faster, healthcare inflation is at its lowest than in the last 50 years and nearly 19 million people have got insurance. Another way to assess it which seems to be the best way is to formulate a proper healthcare startup system. They probably come up with something new and innovating to enhance the healthcare industry. After all, they are the ones taking this initiative since years.
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GOLDEN AGE FOR DIGITAL HEALTHCARE ENTREPRENEURS
6,200 people have been employed in more than 90 new healthcare companies since Obamacare became a law. This law, which came into force in 2014, made the most dramatic change in US health system, which was needed, from the last 50 years. 96 percent of hospitals across the United States have adopted electronic health records (EHRs). The Obama administration’s reforms created a golden age for digital healthcare entrepreneurs and investors alike.
A lot of money is being invested in the development of news apps, for technological innovations to make sure that care is delivered more efficiently and at the fingertips. Companies are striving to improve medical compliance with new gadgets, for instance, the “smart” pill bottle caps; others have devoted themselves to scaling up telemedicine so that patients can see their doctor without going to the hospitals or the clinic. Furthermore, gamification and virtual communities are used by Omada Health to promote diet, exercise and healthy living among the chronically ill.
Startups like Oscar, working in New York, Los Angeles and Texas which raised more than $400 million from Fidelity for its digital health insurance platform in 2016; and Bright Health Plan in Colorado are picking up the pieces of the state’s co-op to launch a low-cost, narrow network health plan; they are redesigning or reimagining parts of the healthcare system that already exist but these parts aren’t working well or have been long ignored. Many companies have also taken up the task of modernizing primary care practices by using big data, for instance, VillageMD that provides physicians with data on their patient panels and builds support teams that include pharmacists, nurse managers, and care coordinators, all focused on coordinating care and improving patient results. Another example would be Aledade, which has organized over 500 primary care physicians in 11 states with 80,000 patients.
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A number of other companies are working together to improve the mental and behavioral health of people and to deal with the psychological implications of the problems that people face. Lantern, a firm that provides patients with customized assessments and tailored online programs such as cognitive behavioral therapy and Quartet, which is trying to connect primary care and mental healthcare utilizes a set of online assessment and diagnostic tools to determine appropriate referrals and deploys online counseling which has proven more beneficial than many anticipated.
Moreover, with the guidance of former Senator and physician Bill Frist, Aspire, is trying to identify terminally ill patients and connect them to a nurse practitioner trained in palliative care. One more enterprise making healthcare cheaper for people is Dispatch, which is developing a technology that allows patients to call for emergency room-level care in their homes so that they avoid expensive trips to the hospital.
Furthermore, Entrepreneurs who used to go to traditional Silicon Valley start-ups focused on search, shopping, sharing, and software are now migrating to healthcare. The former chief financial officer of Facebook, David Ebersman, has a new healthcare startup. Nuna health was created by Jini Kim, who was an early Google employee, and along the way, she was one of the six Silicon Valley techies who saved healthcare.gov in November and December 2013. Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg created an advertising startup for YouTube in their University of Pennsylvania dorm room and sold it to Google.
In 2012, they created Flatiron, a company that provides a user-friendly electronic medical record specifically for oncology. Senior executives with no or limited healthcare experience from various companies like Yammer, Reputation.com, Yahoo, IDEO, have come into healthcare.
Undoubtedly, there will be booms and busts; the trade cycles will show changes. Many of these start-ups will fail. Few will become $1 billion unicorns. But the amount of creative energy entering the healthcare space is a good sign that the ACA created predictability that is necessary for investors, and incentivized innovation to reduce costs and increase quality. Hence, we could say that the ACA has unleashed a flood of entrepreneurs and startups into the world.
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Thus it can be rightly pointed out that President Obama’s venture in healthcare shows positive signs of growth in future, but will the next president take this forward?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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