2016: The Year Patients Own Their Health

When we look back on 2016, my hope is that the year will be a milestone in the progress toward patients owning their health. Over the years, technology has allowed consumers to own their banking, travel arrangements and cable television subscriptions. Now, it’s healthcare’s turn. Healthcare technology such as wearable devices and electronic health records (EHRs) is, for the first time, putting the patient in the driver’s seat to take control of their physical care.

Own Your Health will be a rallying cry in 2016 that works on several levels:

At the patient level, Own Your Health means understanding one’s physical well-being and taking steps to improve it. This can be done with information – doctor visit summaries, medications, medical imaging, diagnosis codes, clinical notes and laboratory results — that is available today through a wide range of wearable devices, smartphones, and sensors. These technologies enable a deeper level of participation in one’s health, and a much richer set of data so that patients understand that what they do affects their bodies.

At a broader level, owning your health contributes to insights and discoveries in populations of people. In 2016, Intel will be reporting on a clinical trial in which people volunteered to let research scientists analyze their deidentified biometric data from the Basis Peak fitness tracker combined with data captured in clinics, laboratories and in homes. I mention this example because it reflects a clear industry trend toward using consumer-grade wearables in population health, wellness monitoring and drug discovery efforts. Intel’s work with the Michael J. Fox Foundation using wearables to measure tremor events in Parkinson’s patients is another great example, enabling analysis of how various types of patients respond to specific doses of medication.

For the fast-growing consumer healthcare marketplace, Own Your Health will be a call-to-action. Intel is working with a wide variety of partners to develop this ecosystem and break new ground with devices and biosensing, data interoperability and integration, affordable and scalable storage, and predictive analytics, all delivered with an acceptable level of security and trust. Our goal is to make consumer health analytics easier on Intel® architecture.

Overall, Own Your Health is about gaining value from biometric information that has been untapped for too long. And it is based on the power of individuals to learn about and improve their health, and contribute to the well-being of others at the same time.

Where do you see consumer health technology heading this year?