The cloud, web, and mobile-based technologies developing in health that we call Health 2.0 had a big year in 2013 and look to be continuing full steam ahead in 2014.
Three things to know as the year takes off:
1. Professionals Facing Growth
Health 2.0 tools have been primarily consumer facing, but we’re beginning to see the gradual integration of Health 2.0 tools for professionals at the edges of the enterprise world in realms like patient care communication (WelVu), practice management (Simple Admit), and clinician workflow (Zipnosis).
Population health management in particular is an area where Health 2.0 companies (Phytel, Evolent) are experiencing relative success answering new demands from provider organizations needing to manage patient populations in different ways. Traditional enterprise software has not been designed for this type of challenge.
While Health 2.0 infiltrates the edges of the enterprise world, professional facing Health 2.0 tools are making significant inroads into the core workflow of small practice organizations. Practice Fusion, CareCloud, and Kareo are a few examples of companies making progress in this market.
2. Wearables and Trackers Explode, Divide
The tracking space continues to grow explosively with the addition, by our estimates, of around 100 new tools for self-management or tracking in 2013, and a whole slew of new tools that debuted at CES 2014. However, the tracking and wearables world is experiencing a division between consumer-oriented products and those with more clinical applications.
The consumer side of the equation is rife with interesting technology, including watches, clips, cuffs, and sleep tracking devices. Google’s latest purchase of Nest is vaguely related to this space as innovators continue to move towards smart tracking of the body and human activity generally. Of course, we are at the top of the hype cycle regarding wearables, but in general, tracking is growing rapidly and is increasingly becoming more passive and automatic in nature.