There are countless digital health companies worldwide, most started in the last decade, and more than 100,000 mobile apps –all marketed with the goal of making us healthier. But how many of these companies actually have concrete proof to support their health claims? According to Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health, a digital health company that develops programs for people at risk of chronic disease, not many.
In fact, there’s such a lack of clinical evidence that a new startup was created just to focus on the problem. “Evidation Health” works to analyze the marketing claims of digital heath companies which rarely provide proven scientific evidence, says CEO Deborah Kilpatrick.
Many of these companies are just now reaching maturity and are still figuring out what it means to prove effectiveness. The founders of these companies frequently come from the consumer sector, not healthcare, so while they understand the importance of evidence, they don’t know how to generate it.
One of the hitches they face: hospitals are accustomed to being paid to host clinical trials, but startups want hospitals to pay them to pilot their solutions.
Evidation Health brings together digital health companies and healthcare systems. They design and execute outcomes studies based on medical, behavioral and contextual data. “This allows us to redefine for clients and partners the way they think about their business on the basis of these outcomes,” says Kilpatrick.
Omada Health is an example of a digital health company that has published it outcomes data in respected peer-reviewed journals.
Duffy says, without a doubt, producing evidence-based studies is logistically complex and the cost of an entry-level study could reach into the thousands or even millions. But it’s the right thing to do. After all, we wouldn’t subject patients to a new pharmaceutical or surgery without the evidence to back it up.
Read Article (Christina Hernandez Sherwood | fortune.com | 08/31/2015)
Stop! This article contains implications that could prove very alarming. Consider the large number of digital health products introduced into the market recently, and how many of these products that may or may not have published proof to support their claims.
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