The Week's 5 Hot Health-Tech Stories

The digital health revolution, Fitbit for cancer, and Mayo Clinic’s blockchain bet.

This past week was anything but sleepy for health tech. Between a “historic” proposed rule change for Medicare billing and high-tech mobile health approvals, the federal government did its part to create a hectic news cycle. But the stories that gripped Healthcare Analytics News™ readers mostly focused on private-sector innovation, its wins and struggles alike.

Our most-read story was a column on the very nature of healthcare’s digital transformation. From there, articles about wearables, blockchain, disruption, and artificial intelligence (AI) dominated the week. One unifying thread: The future, it seems, is here—and healthcare stakeholders are still grappling with its processes and implications.

>> READ: What to Know About the “Historic” CMS Proposal

Do you have thoughts about this list? Maybe you think we published something better, or perhaps we’re missing an interesting alternative angle on a popular story. Then tell us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Also, a heads up: Our podcast, Data Book, returns next Friday, July 20. We’re kicking off our second season with a great episode featuring a discussion with Colin Hung of Healthcare Scene. Don’t miss it.

Now, the top five stories to prep you for the week ahead:

1. Digital Health Isn’t a Technological Revolution. It’s a Cultural One.

In his second column for this magazine, the wearables expert himself, João Bocas, calls into question how healthcare leaders view the digital transformation. Yes, the technology component is driving great progress, but the larger shift taking place—or that should be taking place—is a cultural one. How we define the digital health revolution is important, he writes, because that provides the groundwork from which change occurs. Don’t miss the argument that captivated social media.

2. Fitbit Shows Promise in Tracking Performance, Predicting Cancer Outcomes

Although Fitbit has faced challenges in recent years, the wearable-tech company was at the center of a unique, intriguing study. Researchers from Cedars-Sinai and Johns Hopkins found that an activity tracker made by Fitbit could spur solid performance status tracking and outcomes prediction for patients with advanced cancer. But how will this early finding hold up in subsequent research?

3. Mayo Clinic Is Partnering With a Startup to Make Blockchain Work for Healthcare

Many innovators claim to be on the verge of a blockchain boon for healthcare, but few have produced convincing results. Enter Mayo Clinic. The prestigious institution is teaming up with a startup called MedicalChain to find blockchain uses for healthcare. Their first target: electronic health records.

4. $1.5 Trillion for Disruption? Amazon, Google, Silicon Valley Try to Upend Healthcare

By 2022, the life sciences industry could be worth $1.5 trillion, according to analysts at Frost & Sullivan. Part of their thinking: Silicon Valley heavyweights are striking key partnerships in the market, and cutting-edge healthcare technologies are proving effective in any number of areas.

5. The Rising Clamor for Explainable AI

As AI continues to play a bigger role in medicine, some healthcare executives and clinicians remain skeptical of the technology, writes columnist Paddy Padmanabhan, of Damo Consulting. There’s great potential for a level mistrust that could substantially hold back the technology. Padmanabhan’s solution: Bust open the black box.

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