Kilo Health experts say the digitalization of wellness and health products has exploded in recent years, and future technologies are even more exciting. As soon as people were empowered to track their health and contribute towards physical and mental wellbeing, they immediately grabbed this opportunity. HealthTech investors did so too, say experts at Kilo Health, one of the leading digital health and wellness companies globally.
The digitalization of wellness and health products has increased exponentially in recent years. Investment is at an all-time high. And new apps, platforms, and devices are popping up everywhere. HealthTech is big business. According to a Deloitte report, in 2020 alone, companies in this industry raised a record of $14 billion in funding, almost double compared to 2019. Innovators played a key role in the industry’s COVID-19 response. Moving forward, those strategizing for the future of health will likely be well-positioned for success, predicts one of the Big Four accounting and professional service firms. “Every year, we witness the development of new vaccination technologies (RnR vaccines), improved health trackers, and the use of telemedicine, diet, and in-home exercise apps. And let’s not forget the increase of mental health products, AI applications, and others. I think that health tech startups have the potential to disrupt the conventional industry while also saving lives,” says Tadas Burgaila, Co-Founder and CEO of Kilo Health.
Tracking, predicting, and preventing
In recent years more and more people are tracking their activity and vital signs. According to Pew Research, 21% of Americans already track their health with a smartwatch or fitness tracker. And new sensors are coming. As well as better algorithms that could point out some red flags. HealthTech has considerable potential when it comes to predicting and preventing illness. Research data shows that tracking vital signs can reduce cases of preventable cardiac or respiratory arrest by 89%. Furthermore, trackers and apps motivate daily exercise and help people stick to personalized diet plans. They help prevent illnesses and keep people out of hospitals. This is an emerging trend – only a handful of countries have the countrywide platforms and regulations required to transfer data from health trackers to physicians. However, soon it may potentially have a huge impact, especially for countries such as the US where health insurance is not affordable to everyone.
Another big trend in the field of digital health and medicine is personalization. Technological breakthroughs in areas like genetic testing and predictive medicine mean it is possible to tailor healthcare interventions to individual patients like never before. Personalized medicine is fueled by the unprecedented availability of health data and sophisticated analytics. It has the potential to extend our lifespans by revolutionizing diagnostics, treatment, and monitoring. “That’s why we recently invested in Tyler Health, a startup that is developing the next generation Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system. Tyler’s technology consists of a sensor and an app that records blood glucose levels in real-time and the body’s reactions to food and physical activity. The data obtained from the sensor helps to prepare individual recommendations for each person about their eating, sports, sleep habits and the influence of these factors on metabolism”, says Kilo Health’s CEO. The global market for glucose monitoring devices alone is projected to exceed $16 billion by 2027, experts say. And that is just one of the broader health tech market segments.
One of the most promising fields of digital health is its subsection, known as digital therapeutics(DTx). It goes hand in hand with tracking and personalization and comprises multiple technologies and services that can aid healthcare and wellness industries. “In recent years the DTx industry is growing fast and has the potential to replace some traditional therapeutics. For example, DTx apps on their own can adjust the dosage of a drug, triage patients by risk, and suggest doctor visits and diagnoses. This makes treatment options more comfortable and accessible”, says Kasparas Aleknavicius, Kilo Health’s Head of Medical Affairs, as stated at the conference “Health for All 2021”.
It can also guide users in achieving a healthy lifestyle, managing diseases like diabetes, or aiding those with chronic disorders like PTSD. “DTx progress and the ability to cover more health-related concerns have a lot to do with recent technological and internet advancements. Currently, there’s a chance of producing these devices and software platforms at optimal speed and quantity, making DTx more cost-effective than ever”, – Kilo Health’s expert points out.
According to Kasparas Aleknavicius, much work remains for developers and specialists working in the healthcare system in finding the best way to integrate DTx within the traditional medical ecosystem. Yet, by keeping up with the current pace and determination, DTx can become an indispensable part of medical practice. “Traditional healthcare systems tend to be slow-moving and resistant to innovation. Healthcare is one of the least digitalized and technologically affected areas.
However, coronavirus has accelerated its transformations. I think it’s one of the most promising industries right now”, – says Kilo Health’s CEO. Kilo Health is also looking into software that helps patients with diabetes see their health data and predict the course of the disease. There are quite a few other important projects in the pipeline.
For example, an app for those with hypertension to monitor medication use. Also, solutions for cancer, various heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and sclerosis patients. Another project is a remote consulting platform that allows users to consult psychologists and companies to monitor employees’ emotional states. Making the long story short, the world is changing and companies like Kilo Health are the tip of the spear of change.