Health care professionals have a duty to advocate for their patients. This is a fundamental principle to the sacred relationship between a doctor and patient. Shouldn’t Doctors also be advocates for connective health technologies that best serve their patients? As unlikely as that sounds given the multitude of distractions facing clinicians, it would be a mistake for my fellow physicians to not mold the adaptation of new connective health technologies.
As a MD, Executive and Investor in a number of connected health companies, I believe the physician has an opportunity at this new age of connective health technologies to play a critical role in deciphering what products will thrive and what engineers and entrepreneurs will bring to the market in the years to come.
To date, marketers have sold your patients on what connective health product they should use. Whether it is what app to use, what wearable to buy, what software service is best, and the sheer volume of products are growing exponentially each year leaving a mountain of data generated. From the prospective of the executives and the end-user (patient) more data must be good, must offer information to better an outcome, whether it is a fitness outcome or more importantly a medical outcome. More data can’t possibly be a negative, can it? The answer is yes, it can. The real question should be what data do we need as a healthcare system and who determines what are useful or “clinically actionable data”? In every company I get involved with in the connective health industry the most important question for me is: Will the use of this technology and it’s data change the way we treat patients down the road?
In the case of connective health, history may be poised to repeat itself. About 15-20 years ago with the mainstream use and access to the Internet, a glut of medical information, some good, some bad, and some simply preposterous became ubiquitous. Ever since, there is not a MD in the world who doesn’t have one of these conversations with their patients each week: “I read online that this…” or “Dr. X on TV said this about…” and although some would argue that the informed public is better served, the reality is in Medicine you need context more then any other industry. The information overload on patients needs to be deciphered and put into the context of that specific patient. This is often not a simple task and medical professionals will spend tremendous time and effort to explain complex disease, treatments, and outcomes to patients. With respect to the budding connective health evolution, the medical community needs to be out ahead of the onslaught of technology products that claim to have medical benefits. Clinicians need to focus the use of connective health product to their patients in ways that best incorporate their practices, not the other way around. It may be more work than a clinician feels he or she needs to do, but I assure my colleagues that connective health is not a fad and will not go away, any more than the internet has, so don’t run from it. Embrace connective health technologies judiciously and be an advocate for their proper use. When used correctly, these technologies can be great tools for enabling more efficient medical practices and better patient outcomes.
Remo Moomiaie-Qajar, M.D.
Dr. Remo Moomiaie-Qajar is a trained surgeon, serial investor and entrepreneur within the Life Science sector. He is a Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at AlgoDx, an algorithm software development company using wearable sensor technologies to diagnose a number of chronic conditions including Cardiac Arrhythmias, Congestive Heart Failure, and Diabetes Mellitus.