We have gained many insights into the healthcare system and current status of heart failure treatment at home in Delaware. Yet each foray of research we make into a new arena of heart failure management unearths a myriad of burgeoning tech solutions to classic problems in chronic care, often leaving a feeling that a comprehensive view of the contemporary medtech ecosystem would always remain elusive. Thankfully, being the premier hub for medtech and biotech innovation in the US, Boston provided us with a holistic snapshot of the wide variety of technological healthcare solutions currently in development.
Our first stop was Partners HealthCare's Medical Device Plug and Play (MD PnP) Open House, which focuses on medical device interoperability. The next two days were spent at the Connected Health Symposium (organized by the Center for Connected Health). The symposium was an excellent window into the world of digitally enabled connectivity and communication within healthcare, an area often lagging behind technologically and riddled with barriers to quick and open conversations. The various sessions and speakers provided insights into topics such as patient engagement, building habit forming products, data visualization, patient tracking, and various business models.
Much of our learning, however, came from watching the product demos and speaking with people at the enterprise booths to hear their stories of problem identification, product development, and business growth. Learning from seasoned entrepreneurs was intensely useful in gauging our future challenges and the constraints within which we should design and operate. These lessons were further underlined by meetings with other entrepreneurs such as Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky of Care at Hand, Dr. Julien Pham of Rubicon MD, and Jay Desai of PatientPing. Trips to Optum Labs and the MIT Media Lab were also eye-opening regarding the use of patient data in healthcare innovation.
A large part of our trip was also spent at the Center for Connected Health, itself, learning about their ongoing projects and areas of focus as well as being exposed to their processes for agile design and self-evaluation.
Visiting Boston has, without a doubt, vastly improved our understanding of what technological solutions are currently being explored in the realm of connected health and the work that has gone into them. This knowledge will serve as an excellent set of guide-rails as we seek to forge our own similar path to creating a successful impact.