August 10, 2018

Clinical Evidence in Digital Health

Commentary
Hanna Phelan

Digital health is experiencing incredible growth with new apps and companies entering the space now on a daily basis. All are claiming to be clinically and economically viable. The challenge now becomes; how do we find the solutions that actually work? Today were going to take a look at one potential way that we have found that helps us to cut through the noise which is; Clinical Evidence.

The State of Play

The digital health sector as we know it is still quite a new concept. Many still associate digital health exclusively with wellness and fitness tracking apps and devices. Although some of these apps have been incredibly successful with examples such as Fitbit and the 'Map my Run', which have both enjoyed significant commercial success and exits. This success has led to an explosion of health apps into the market which are all making their own claims of effectiveness.

The digital health industry has now been thrust into the familiar noise that the health industry enjoys offline, but are we ready for it online? This then presents an even bigger question;

How do you know which company or app can actually back up their claims?

We decided to focus on one key area that we feel provides a good place to start: Clinical Evidence.

When decided then to take a closer look at some companies in the space to find which ones we feel are really leading the way in generating clinical evidence for their products and services. We found quite a few companies that have evidence behind them, but we have selected three that we feel are great examples of companies using research and clinical validation to drive their products and services.

Enter Omada Health, AbilTo & Propeller.

Omada Health

‘’Omada help employers and health plans tackle diabetes and heart disease in the most engaging, effective, and scalable way possible’’ - Omadahealth.com

Omada have taken a very welcome scientific approach to how they make decisions around their products and services. They have published studies in peer reviewed journals such as The Journal of Medical Internet Research and The Diabetes Educator . This is a key strength of Omada, and one that seems to have successfully differentiated their product and company vision. Definitely one to watch!

@omadahealth

Ableto

‘’AbleTo is a behavioral healthcare provider. Our behavior change treatments improve patients’ overall medical health and reduce the total cost of care’ - Abilto.com

AbilTo conducted retrospective observational studies that showed significant improvements in patients that used their 8 week behavioural change programme. An example of their clinical evidence can be seen in ‘’Leveraging Remote Behavioral Health Interventions to Improve Medical Outcomes and Reduce Costs’’ that was published by The American Journal of Managed Care. Abilto have managed to strike a balance between increasing patient outcomes, while also reducing the cost of care for payers also. Winning on multiple fronts is definitely a solid strategy when operating in an industry with so many diverse stakeholders!

@ableto_health

Propeller

‘’Propeller is a comprehensive solution for managing chronic respiratory disease. Program roll out takes less than 1 month, so you can see better outcomes for your respiratory population’’ - Propeller.com

Propeller focus on respiratory conditions but are perhaps most known for their work with Asthma. Their solution in the form of sensors now work with over 90% of inhaled medications.

Propeller have studies published across a number articles such as the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine. Its very exciting to see a company that has managed to gain clinical validation for a consumer facing device while also developing an enterprise suite for clinicians to help monitor them!

@PropellerHealth