The vision (I guess) for the connected patient is that all data related to the patients well-being is stored in one place such as data from wearables, hospital history, exercise and movement data, what you have eaten, where you have been and so on. With all health related data in one place and much of the data collected continuously over time the preventive healthcare would have the possibility to take a quantum leap, but do we want it to?
A while a go some colleagues and I hade a heated discussion about this and privacy and security aside the discussion boiled down to what happens with the human being when you more or less gets a prophecy on when you will die and your health until then.
On one side where the people that wanted to have the best possible life (health) until the end and on the other side where the people that claimed that the human motivation for living would be destroyed when there is an accurate prophecy of your life health. We did not come to any conclusion but with big firms like Apple, Google, Salesforce.com and so on trying to do just that this is something that is more likely to happen then ever so the discussion is needed. Feel free to leave comments at the end.
The biggest (or clearest) initiatives so fare I think is Apple Healthkit and Saleforce.com, but we should not rule out Google yet.
Healthkit is a solution which is integrated with IOS8 and aims to collect and store health and fitness data into a single database while they at the same time integrates with the healthcare providers to exchange data. Knowing Apple this will for some time be a USA centred solution but any medical device manufacturer which sells equipment in the USA must take this platform into account. Multiple devices, sensors and applications will be able to interact on the Apple IOS platform and approved healthcare providers will have access to the data and feed back data into the platform.
When it comes to Salesforce.com they are partnering with Philips and taking their cloud approach into the healthcare industry. Initially the focus is chronical diseases but that will expand over time. This is an other solution that I think that medical device manufacturers must relate to and see if they should take advantage of or if they should integrate towards some other platform.
When it comes to Google they have been burnt once within healthcare with the Google Health initiative (2008 to 2011) and this time they are starting smaller with Google Fit initially launching for Android but will support other platforms like IOS and Web. This will focus on fitness applications and fitness wearables initally.
However they will most likely not stop there while Google's CEO Larry Page recently claimed that the healthcare industries fear for data mining is costing 100 000 lives each year. At the same time Google X has initiated a Baseline Study that will define the health human body through monitoring volunteers over 3 years.
The interesting with the initiative above is that none are from the traditional healthcare industry and this is something that we can see in many industries that when cloud/connectivity/digital is entering the industry that opens for new competitors to disrupt the industry.