How Has COVID-19 Changed the Current Landscape for Digital Health?

Sep 17, 2020

By Laura Rudberg, Director of Events, MassBio

Ahead of our Digital Health Impact 2020 event, we asked our speakers for their thoughts on how COVID-19 changed the current landscape for digital health, and what long-term impact it will have on the biopharma industry’s adoption of digital technologies. Here’s what they had to say:

“COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated the adoption of all kinds of digital/remote/tele-technology. The long-term impact depends a lot on what happens next – including what happens to billing rules. In a positive scenario, we can provide much more care/prevention more cheaply, and the positive results of that become visible: people find it easier to get care, including nutritional and mental counseling, payers save money, and the healthcare system learns how to survive by providing better in-person care when necessary. Moreover, there’s a lot more data collected about all these interactions, and the positive impact of these services becomes easier to see – and get paid for. The disparities in care also become more visible, and the gap between rich and poor lessens as the system slowly responds and starts serving poor and marginalized people better.

“In the negative scenario, the healthcare system sees telemedicine as a threat, the regulators re-tighten the rules around payment and other facets of remote care (including licensing) and we revert to the inefficient and inequitable system of the recent past.”

Esther Dyson, Executive Founder, Wellville

“COVID-19 has forever transformed the digital health landscape. Decades of progress have happened in weeks as a result of rapid demand for telehealth, home care, and AI to speed vaccine development. Everything from regulatory to payment has been affected. The most fundamental shift, however, is patient and clinician adoption of new technologies has ushered in a giant leap forward for health innovation. We will see more progress in the next five years than we have in the past 50 in ways that will change how care is delivered and how much it costs.”

Unity Stoakes, President, Co-Founder, & Managing Director, StartUp Health

 “COVID-19 has placed a spotlight on the digital tools that have long been available but struggled for meaningful adoption. Clinical trials today require digital health tools to mitigate the risk of study disruption associated with the pandemic, but their continued use after the pandemic is not assured. Now is the time for organizations to commit to these new approaches — adapting processes and training, expanding partners for new technology, and rethinking their protocols and endpoints. As teams build experience incorporating digital health tools in their studies and performance measures are captured that demonstrate their impact, we will then see the path to the future of sustaining adoption and impact.”

Craig Lipset, Advisor & Founder at Clinical Innovation Partners, Former Head of Clinical Innovation, Pfizer

To make the event as accessible as possible during the COVID-19 crisis, Digital Health Impact 2020 is now free! This is what MassBio President & CEO Bob Coughlin has to say about the event:

Register today and join us on September 30th!

See all MassBio News