Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Consumerization of Healthcare

Last year, the well-known VC, Vinod Khosla, made the controversial statement that 80% of what doctors do will soon be replaced with healthcare technology. He goes into more detail about why this is the case in his papers and presentations titled “20% doctor included,” which I recommend reading on the Khosla Ventures website here.

I’ve been fascinated about this idea of having consumers take charge of their health by performing their own routine physicals and checkups through precision diagnostics at home.  This is one of the easiest ways we can help reduce the cost of healthcare, improve early detection and preventative medicine, as well as keep everyone better informed about their own health.

It’s been pretty remarkable to see the latest devices that are becoming available which allow you to, in essence, become your own doctor. Devices like AliveCor allow you to take your own ECG and track your heart rate using your phone. You can get measured for eyeglasses at home using EyeNetra and check on ear infections using CellScope or track respiratory disorders and asthma with Adamand and RespiRight. Sano Intelligence is even developing a skin patch to monitor your blood chemistry data and connect it to an analytics platform.

In my opinion, one of the most impressive devices is the Scanadu Scout, which pretty much allows you to perform your own physical at home by collecting data on your pulse, heart rate, electrical heart activity, temperature, heart rate variability, and blood oxygenation.  Scanadu is even developing another product called Scanaflo, which will allow people to take their own urine tests at a fraction of the price it would cost to do at a lab.

It’s exciting to see the development of all of these health tech and quantified self devices. The next step will be to help consumers better analyze all the data they gather. I’m sure that these digital first-aid/general checkup kits and quantified self devices are only the beginning of much more to come.