Insights

Data and Healthcare: the New Treasure Island...

Consulting & Marketing Director
Valtech France

October 22, 2015

Today, connected health is a “trending” topic. Some members of the GAFA, not counting start-ups specializing in the healthcare revolution or in biotechnology, are investing a lot of money, by following a very Californian guideline: change the world... 

Thus, 36% of the $ 450 million invested by Google Ventures (Google’s investment funds) in 2014 is dedicated to health, against 9% in 2013. It is true that the sector is promising:

  • Save healthcare systems that will lead the rich countries and their social protection to bankruptcy with the concomitance of technological progress and the aging of the population,
  • Lengthen the duration of life, as asserted by the brilliant minds who promise us eternal life!

In this maelstrom of considerations, highly innovative projects in the field of health have emerged, using digital as a transformation engine. These are initiatives that highlight the increasing use of technology in our daily lives. Health is a major issue for anybody who is endowed with the only certainty in life: death!

EXAMPLES OF INNOVATIVE PROJECTS

MelCap is a connected capsule that helps in weight loss by offering an alternative to surgery. Once the capsule is swallowed, a magnetic belt attracts it to the correct part of the stomach. Via the mobile app, the user programs a meal duration. After this duration, MelCap electrically stimulates the gastric muscles to convey a feeling of satiety to the brain. On average, the capsule remains for 3 weeks in the body before being discharged. A cheaper and less restrictive alternative to an operation.

Muse is a connected band that is able to read brain waves and transcribe them in an app. With daily sessions of 3 minutes, the user trains his mind, improves his concentration and reduces his stress. Muse would thus have positive effects on blood pressure and hypertension, and allow better control of emotional reactivity. In the future, the creators imagine the possibility of interacting with the app by thought and are thinking about a tool capable of detecting the user's mood to offer him relevant content, like a playlist to cheer him up, for example.

MyHealthPal is an app that allows people with chronic illnesses to track and better understand their health on a dashboard. Sharing functions keep relatives informed about the evolution of the disease. Lastly, users can choose to give anonymously collected data to research institutes or associations. In exchange, the patient receives a portion of the revenues generated by this legacy: give and take.

Thus, connected health allows to better objectify the key indicators for measuring our daily health: pulse, weight, blood pressure ... however less traditional indicators such as the diabetes rate will quickly become the norm! In brief, the user will switch quickly from the monitoring of indicators of well being – for which Apple Watch has become the spearhead in the world of connected bracelets – to more vital health indicators for a peaceful existence. With these tools, we will gradually become specialists of our own health and not depend on the diagnosis of the doctor: the much maligned practitioner since several centuries - we've all been inoculated with the “Molière” virus, as recipients of the national education (see French playwright Molière’s play “The doctor, in spite of himself”). Thus, technological progress will provide an opportunity to radically transform the way we are treated or protected against major diseases that act as the grim reaper.

In any case, health shows us the path that digital is gradually trying to take: that of the ‘ecosystem’. An ecosystem is a combination of software, services, data, and a growing number of partners gravitating towards a pole of attraction like Apple or Google. The main ingredient is the ability to attract the best partners to make this ecosystem more effective and increasingly attractive.

To consult Valtech’s [WATF]*, please see: http://www.watf.fr/ [WATF]*