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Understanding the Next Generation of “Symptom-Checkers”?

Will SCs  become one of the killer applications in digital health?
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By Ralf Jahns [Berlin, Germany]
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Dear David and ME-P Readers,
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Next generation of symptom checkers are entering the healthcare market with the intention to disrupt the way health services are provided. Symptoms checkers have a chance to belong to the set of killer applications within digital health market next to telehealth, e-prescription and chronic health management solutions. Market potential differs significantly country per country and could go up as high as 8 Bn EUR p.a. Payer and pharma companies must hurry up to close partnership deals as prices go up quickly.
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Symptom Checkers
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There are hundreds of symptom checker solutions available in the market for long. Quite a few have gone out of business or changed their business model (e.g. Medlanes) due to having started too early in a market either using B2B or B2C business models. Over the last few years a new generation of symptom checkers have been launched. These tools are building on AI for data management and a chat bot functionality for user communication. They also expanded into other service areas not only concentrating on offering expertise medical diagnostic advice, but also allowing to search for a doctor, remote HCP consultations, or shopping features for over-the-counter medicines.

Symptoms checkers have the potential to belong to the solution suite that will open up the traditional healthcare system for digital health solutions, similar to telehealth or chronic patient’s self-management services. They not only allow patients to remotely 24/7 access advice on their symptoms but are more and more used also by HCPs to support their diagnosing process.

The following list of next generation of symptom checkers shows current ranges of services, reach and business models.

  • Ada Health – a free symptom checker exclusively available as a mobile app. The app provides symptom advice for more than 6,000 diseases. The ADA app has 6 million users and 10 million assessments completed, it’s available in 5 languages and ranked as #1 medical app in over 130 countries. The Berlin-based company employs 130 workers and over 40 doctors and medical editors.
  • Your.MD – symptom checker and health tracker. The app for diagnosis, partners with online medical service providers and refers its apps users to pharmacies, test centers, doctors’ offices or recommends other medical apps which are suitable for them.
  • Sensely – an app for pre-diagnosis, video doctor consultation, allows remote monitoring, links user with local medical services and self-care resources. Currently Sensely app is available by an access code from an employer/health plan.
  • Infermedica – Symptomate is a suite of web, mobile and voice apps that help patients assess their symptom when they feel sick. The solution covers 13 languages and is available in three major voice platforms: Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana and Google Assistant. According to the company the audience includes mainly young adults and more than 55% of the users are aged 18 – 30. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms include headaches, back pains, mild abdominal pains and overall fatigue.
  • Ask NHS – Virtual Assistant” app (powered by Sensely). A virtual assistant named Olivia asks questions about the symptoms and suggests what the problem is. If needed, Olivia arranges a call back from a “111 nurse” to discuss the symptoms further. Patients can also search NHS approved healthcare advice, and schedule GP appointments.
  • Isabel is a similar solution to Ada or Symptomate. The end users are patients, but the company – Isabel Healthcare – also makes the APIs available to others to integrate the symptom checker into their own systems.
In general, market readiness seems to be more advanced in terms of payer and user willingness to use and pay compared to few years back. Also, symptoms checkers are now seen as tools which not only substitute or shorten HCP visits by remote, anonymous and free-of-charge health assessments, but which also enable patient activation tools for pharma companies and enhance products by tech-companies.
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Research2Guidance Cost Savings Potential Opportunity For Sympoms Checkers Vary Between 0,5 BN and 8 BN Euros

***

Market potential is big. 400 million people especially in developing economies lack access to essential health services. The situation in developed economies is different. Shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas also exists but the problem that symptoms checkers could address is the large amount of doctor visits. In the USA alone there are around 1.3 Bn visits to GPs in a year. Japan has an even higher GP visit numbers as people tend to go 3 times more often to a doctor compared to their US counterparts.By reducing the number of HCP visits (here only GP visits are shown), symptom checkers promise to have a significant impact on healthcare costs within each country. Regardless whether 5% or 10% of GP visits will be made obsolete, the cost saving potential is enormous. In the US alone a 5% reduction would lead to annual cost savings of 8 Bn EUR! Second biggest market opportunities are in Japan with potential cost savings of 6 Bn EUR, followed by Germany and Canada (1 Bn EUR).

Not surprisingly payer organizations in western countries have started to offer symptoms checker solutions to their member base but also to HCPs. For example, Ada and German health insurer Techniker Krankenkasse(TK) are offering the symptoms checker in emergency rooms. Patients insured by TK might be asked to complete in a waiting room an assessment on Ada. Depending on the results, the patient may be redirected to a nurse or a doctor. In another trial run with a large NHS GP clinic, 14% of patients that completed an Ada assessment in the waiting room said that if they had used Ada at home, they would not have felt the need to come to see the doctor that day.”

Babylon a telehealth service also using symptoms checkers is now embedded into Samsung Health, which is available on millions of Samsung mobile devices in the UK and US, and has recently signed major partnership agreements with Tencent, Bupa and Prudential.

Companies wanting to enter the market should hurry up as development times of symptoms checkers are long and existing players are closing deals with payers and tech companies at high speed. Ada, for example, claims to have spent seven years to build up their database of symptoms and recommendations, while integrating more than 6.000 diseases linked to symptoms including 1,100 rare diseases curated by HCPs.

On the other side, payerspharmahospitals and tech companies that want to enrich their service offering with next generation of symptoms checkers are urged to start selection and further on integration process of next generation symptoms checkers as prices go up quickly and flexibility to incorporate specific change requests will go down with increasing success of symptoms checkers.

P.S. If you need any insights or quotes about the digital health, digital diabetes and / or the digital respiratory markets, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to provide you with reliable data and latest market insights.

[HOSPITAL OPERATIONS, ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT COMPANION TEXTBOOK SET]

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On the Clinical Efficacy of the Apple Watch?

New Studies Seek to Define Clinical Efficacy

[By Catalyst @ Health 2.0]

Preliminary results from the Apple Heart Study show the potential health benefits of wearables. Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine partnered with Apple to conduct a virtual observational study with more than 400,000 participants. The study used the Apple Watch’s irregular rhythm notification (IRN) system to detect atrial fibrillation (AFib). The results showed 0.5% of participants received irregular rhythm notifications. For those who were notified, 21% received and wore an ECG patch. Of those, Afib was confirmed 34% of the time. The positive predictive value of the overall study was 71%, however, this increased to 84% for the subgroup who also used an ECG patch. It should be noted that the study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Johnson & Johnson’s HEARTLINE Study aims to build on the Apple Heart Study. Announced back in January, the virtual clinical trial will enroll 150,000 Americans 65 years and older to detect AFib and collect outcomes data. Participants will be randomized to either receive the Apple Watch 4 or no watch at all. Compared to the Apple Heart Study, one key technical design difference allows the HEARTLINE Study to draw a clearer connection between AFib observance and confirmation. Instead of waiting for an ECG patch to be mailed to the participant, the ECG app on the user’s Apple Watch 4 will be engaged once the “IRN software detects five out of six consecutive irregular rhythms each lasting one minute.” Both the IRN software and the ECG app are FDA cleared for AFib detection. Although the clinical efficacy of wearables is far from conclusive, the innovative use of virtual clinical trials will likely be commonplace in the future with the continued proliferation of consumer-driven health technologies.

Healthcare Executives Under Threat of Business Model Disruption

Healthcare executives are increasingly worried about business model disruption due to the influx of new entrants, processes, and technologies into the healthcare industry. According to Change Healthcare’s 9th Annual Industry Pulse Survey, 13.3% of 185 healthcare leaders believe that innovations in care delivery will lead to potential advancement within the industry and 11.1% believe that refinement of customer experience will create disruptive change. Other potential disruptors include supply chain innovations (9%), launch of vertical one-stop healthcare companies (8%), and advances in artificial capabilities (7%). However, the survey findings also suggest that healthcare leaders are increasingly embracing healthcare technologies. Thirty percent of leaders indicate that EHRs are their leading source of clinical data and another 30% of respondents say that analytics are “extremely effective” or “very effective” at increasing workflow productivity.

Health systems are also jumping into the digital age, with patients portals employed by 73% and telehealth solutions employed by 54% of all surveyed respondents. Twenty percent of respondents indicate they currently use machine learning and 51% plan to employ the technology in the future. Interestingly, the survey reveals a marked lack of attention toward cybersecurity. Even while 40% of healthcare leaders see cybercrime as a potential risk, 38% answered that there are “too many competing priorities” to warrant the level of attention that cybersecurity needs. Nevertheless, the threat of disruption has charged healthcare leaders to intensify its commitment to combating new market entrants.

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Assessment

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Employer Healthcare Cost Management Techniques

On Medical Cost Containment

By http://www.MCOL.com

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Conclusion

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The Real Secret About Why Corporate Mergers Fail

AN AUDIO PRESENTATION

 

By Vitaliy Katsenelson CFA

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Corporate acquisitions often fail for one simple reason: the buyer pays too much. An old Wall Street adage comes to mind: Price is what you pay, value is what you get.

It all starts with a control premium

When we purchase shares of a stock, we pay a price that is within pennies of the last trade. When a company is acquired, the purchase price is negotiated during long dinners at fine restaurants and comes with a control premium that is higher than the latest stock quotation.

How much above?

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

 

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Dr. David Edward Marcinko, editor-in-chief, is a next-generation apostle of Nobel Laureate Kenneth Joseph Arrow PhD, as a health-care economist, insurance advisor, financial advisor, risk manager, and board-certified surgeon from Temple University in Philadelphia.

In the past, he edited eight practice-management books, three medical textbooks and manuals in four languages, five financial planning yearbooks, dozens of interactive CD-ROMs, and three comprehensive health-care administration dictionaries.

Internationally recognized for his clinical work, he is a past endowed chair; professor of health economics, finance and public health policy management; and distinguished visiting professor of surgery as a Bachelor of Medicine–Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree recipient from Marien Hospital in Aachen, Germany.

He provides litigation support and expert witness testimony in state and federal court, with medical publications archived in the Library of Congress and the Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

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National Dentist’s Day 2019

Sorry we Missed it. Mea Culpa!

[By staff reporters]

National Dentist’s Day was established to show appreciation and thanks for dentists and raise awareness of dentistry so that people will know more about caring for their teeth.

National Dentist’s Day falls on March 6th every year. It was established as a way to show appreciation and thanks for dentists. It’s also a way to bring awareness to dentistry so that people will know more about how to care for their teeth. It also encourages people who may have avoided going to the dentist to come in for a checkup.

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MORE: http://nationaldentistsday.com/

Assessment: Our thanks to colleague Darrell K. Pruitt DDS for the reminder.

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[PRIVATE MEDICAL PRACTICE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT TEXTBOOK – 3rd.  Edition]

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