Crowell & Moring and Accenture co-hosted a conference, “Fostering Innovative Digital Health Strategies,” in late-June. The program aimed to provide a broad analysis of the business and legal issues that must be addressed as health care organizations and technology companies consider innovative strategies to use digital health technologies.

The first session of the conference, “Trends in the Health Care Economy’s Internet of Things,” featured the following distinguished panelists: Zane Burke (president, Cerner); Jodi Daniel (partner, Crowell & Moring); Cheryl Falvey (partner, Crowell & Moring); Melissa Goldstein (assistant director, Bioethics and Privacy Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President); and Kaveh Safavi (senior managing director, Global Health Industry Lead, Accenture).

A series of five videos from the session can be watched below:

Here are key health care Internet of Things (IoT) trends discussed in Session 1:

  1. Rapid Growth in IoT Market: The IoT market segment is poised to hit $163 billion by 2020. In order to take advantage of this opportunity and become integral parts of the health care IoT ecosystem, traditional health care organizations and other companies must create platforms to exchange data and interact with other businesses, including those companies that are new to the health care industry. Partnerships that are able to combine cutting-edge digital health technology with clinical informatics and secure platforms will be most successful
  2. Personalized and Consumer-Driven Health Care: Providers have more access to patient health data than ever before due to information accessible from electronic medical records, remote monitoring devices, and other digital health tools. Access to this data can enhance clinical decision-making and provide clinicians with the opportunity to create tailor-made strategies for patients. There is a trend toward consumers taking more responsibility for their own health and demanding more streamlined access to their health data, and directing the flow of that data.
  3. Device Interoperability and Data Integration: Interoperability as a means of connecting patient generated health data, medical device data, electronic health records, and other diverse sources of data is still a work in progress. Although the security and privacy of patient health records are paramount, information sharing and interoperability are critical if we are to see the benefits of digital health tools, including improved clinical decision making, improved health outcomes, and cost efficiency. Achieving interoperability will require various organizations to work collaboratively on standards and governances. Companies should consult legal counsel when seeking to structure data-sharing systems that are compliant with federal and state privacy and security laws.
  4. Data Discrimination: According to the recent White House Report on big-data discrimination, certain data-driven technologies can deliberately or inadvertently perpetuate, exacerbate, or mask discrimination. Companies must build in fairness by design to avoid re-encoding human discrimination into algorithmic systems.
  5. Intelligent Automation in Health Care: Intelligent automation, or artificial intelligence, is making care delivery and administration more seamless across the health ecosystem. Machine learning is improving the identification and resolution of fraud, waste and abuse—a major drain on the healthcare system.
  6. IoT Liability Risks: The advent of digital health technology will have far-reaching consequences for manufacturers, providers, insurers, and, most certainly, consumers. For example, there are security concerns associated with the use of health care IoT devices, including the risk of enabling unauthorized access and misuse of personal information, facilitating attacks on other systems, and creating safety risks. Furthermore, IoT devices may have health care and non-health care uses. There could be liability risks for misrepresenting the intended uses or outcomes for a product.

For more information, please contact the authors of this post or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.