Internet guru names health tech as critical


The rise of applications and technology platforms enabling digital health have been nominated as one of the biggest trends transforming the technology and financial markets according to Internet analyst guru, Mary Meeker.

Meeker, partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Partner handed down her annual Internet Tends report devoting 31 pages of her information-packed Internet Trends Report to health technology. He prognosis chapter, "The Healthcare Digital Inflection," provides further evidence that health and technology are converging to offer new and important solutions in managing and untangling the complexities of health and wellness.

Meeker canvassed internet trends that would be shaping the health sector, including streaming platforms, applications and platforms that allow patient health to be remotely monitored, assessed or data on patients to be distributed in real time.

She noted that the rise of digital information and digital capture is growing rapidly with data points being more freely shared by consumers.

Meeker questioned whether these changes in health technology can follow tech-like rapid adoption curves.

Meeker was strong on the power of data and data capture across multiple platforms. The proliferation of health apps and the rise of empowering data is in the hands of both patient and physician. Electronic health records (EHR) and the rise of centralized medical information are central to this growth.

Additionally, the ability for hospitals to provide access to digital data is on the rise, a sevenfold increase since 2013.  This trend is then poised to grow when hospitals connect to private health care providers, such as nursing homes or private health care facilities via private IP networks.  She notes that the tremendous increase in health data and references, a 48% year-on-year growth. Meeker's presentation of data suggests that data itself has the power to inform, educate and possibly overwhelm the medical and consumer communities.

She also views the sector as booming in innovation such as work in genomics and the dissemination of information within the scientific community—the breaking down of silos—can also drive collaboration and innovation.

There was a warning of a bottleneck to analyzing that data in patient privacy. Health care data can be used to the benefit and the detriment of patients. A survey of consumers asking which tech companies they’d share their health data with shows 60 percent trust Google and 56 percent trust Microsoft. Less trusted are Amazon and Facebook — only 39 percent of consumers would share health data with them.

Overall Meeker reported that the number of global users on the Internet reached 3.4 billion in 2016, equal to 46 percent of the world’s population. That’s more than double the figure in 2009, but the growth rate has flatlined around 10 percent a year for the past five years.


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