The future of healthcare – a virtual ecosystem

wellteq

The future of healthcare is here.

wellteq CEO Scott Montgomery shares insights behind the wellteq HealthHub including where, when and how the product can be utilised to shape the future of care.

The future of healthcare is here.

Healthcare leaders globally expect that within three years, as much as 45% of care outside hospitals will occur in homes instead.

But the future of healthcare can’t be sustained by connecting doctors via zoom calls alone. Like many industries that have recently undergone technological revolutions, healthcare requires a robust virtual ecosystem – a digital infrastructure that paves the way for equitable and accessible health care for all.

For health, it’s evident the revolution has already commenced, with more physicians looking towards technology to assist with the treatment and management of their patients.

As momentum towards digitising care increases, so do the complexities. The introduction of more data, systems and technology makes the need for data harmonisation increasingly paramount.

wellteq CEO Scott Montgomery believes the solution to harmonisation starts with the wellteq HealthHub – a hardware solution that expands the wellteq offering from sub-clinical solutions into clinical environments.

Currently undergoing beta testing, the HealthHub is an IoMT platform that can connect, manage and monitor any standardised IoMT or IoT device using edge computing. 

But what exactly does this mean for the future of our healthcare system both as a patient and provider? Scott Montgomery shares insights behind the recent product release including where, when and how the HealthHub can be utilised to shape the future of care.

What is the wellteq HealthHub?

The HealthHub is essentially a ‘smart box’ for healthcare. It connects, manages and monitors both standardised medical devices and non-medical IoMT devices for a completely integrated solution. The connective capability of the HealthHub is extensive, enabling third-party integration to manage and monitor commercial, industrial, residential and/or medical smart devices – a must-have for next generation virtual care in-home deployments.

The applications and possibilities for the hub reach far and wide, but to put it simply I like to think of it as a conduit to virtual care.

The applications and possibilities for the hub reach far and wide, but to put it simply I like to think of it as a conduit to virtual care.

How does the HealthHub work?

The HealthHub connects and collects data from hundreds of smart devices. This can include anything from connected medication boxes and lighting systems to the growing list of wearables that collect our biometrics – such as how active you are or what your blood oxygen saturation levels are. It then synthesises any data collected and feeds the user-defined information back to both the patient and authorised care provider.

By coupling the information received with automated alerts – which are further supported by configurative responses – the HealthHub unlocks a wealth of opportunity for the provision of virtual care outside of the hospital setting.

For example, in assisted living environments, if you are not in bed at a prescribed time the HealthHub can be configured to send a message to a nominated smart device, such as your TV. Additionally, if you’re not out of bed by a set time, the HealthHub can send an alert to a nurse indicating that you may need help or assistance.

Importantly, it enables the health sector to save time and efficiencies through machine intelligence and automation. This allows for better data processing to enable informed decision making and action by producing more useful data insights.

Finally, it also has the potential to unlock increased revenue and efficiency opportunities for care providers looking to commercialise and increase profitability in these services with their patients.

For example, in assisted living environments, if you are not in bed at a prescribed time the HealthHub can be configured to send a message to a nominated smart device, such as your TV. Additionally, if you're not out of bed by a set time, the HealthHub can send an alert to a nurse indicating that you may need help or assistance.

Where can we expect to see it first in operation?

Currently we’re focussing our efforts in the research space, where the HealthHub is now in beta testing.

In partnership with a US university and Canadian research institute, the HealthHub is being deployed within connected living environments to undergo research into cognitive impairment – specifically for those with Alzheimer’s disease. When the HealthHub is successfully validated to provide both value and efficacy, the research and aged care sector will be the first two places we can expect to see the hub in commercial operation.

In terms of timelines, we’re estimating the commercialisation phase to commence in the next 12-months.

How do you envisage the hub will impact both the way we provide and receive care?

At its core, the HealthHub is about equalising access to quality healthcare regardless of who or where you are by empowering both the patient and physician.

In terms of care, we know that prevention is better than cure. But it is not without its challenges, as many patients are still unable to access this level of care due to cost, location and lack of awareness. With the HealthHub, if a care team can be notified of a deterioration in behaviour or biomarker in real-time, they can make the necessary interventions earlier, often when a patient is pre-symptomatic.

Additionally, making personal data and diagnostic reasoning more accessible to patients will naturally improve their health awareness and literacy.

At its core, the HealthHub is about equalising access to quality healthcare regardless of who or where you are by empowering both the patient and physician.

You mention data access, how is wellteq endeavouring to manage patient/user privacy when it comes to the utilisation and sharing of their health data?

According to a recent study conducted by the Canadian Medical Association, it’s evident patients want control over their personal health data and believe they should get to approve who receives access to their health data, and that they, not the government or technology platforms, own their health data.

Through an informed consent process that sits with the patient through an end-user licence agreement with the HealthHub, the user will retain full control over their health data, including who inside their care team and support network is granted access to what data and for how long.

Do you feel the health care system is ready to adopt the changes this technology and others like it will bring?

If you are asking have we overcome the inertia of ‘will healthcare change’ or ‘can healthcare change’ then I would say yes, absolutely – it is changing. And part of that has to do with the pandemic.

The past two years have certainly bolstered the widespread adoption of healthcare technology usage, particularly in more traditional settings like general practitioner offices or hospitals.

The telehealth model is just one indication of our readiness to change, but it’s a very small first step. 

You speak with optimism when it comes to the future of care, what is it that excites you?

The speed at which technology has developed over the past decade is profound. We have already seen media, retail and finance transform, now it’s healthcare’s turn.

It’s clear the technology is there, but it is now up to people and systems to catch up and put that into easy to understand and install packages for the user. With the HealthHub, it has the potential to completely redesign the way care is provided and consumed – and that is something to be optimistic about.

With the HealthHub, it has the potential to completely redesign the way care is provided and consumed – and that is something to be optimistic about.

How does the release of the HealthHub compliment the wellteq corporate wellness offering?

Yes, we are in the wellness space and have been for a decade, but now we extending into clinical – we are experts in facilitating behaviour change for improved health outcomes.

We recognise the transformative period the health sector is undergoing across the continuum of care and we’re both energetic and well-positioned to contribute to the transformation that lies ahead.

The components wellteq offer are simple software and hardware solutions that work. To summarise, they include the platform APIs, fully customisable app and HealthHub. Through a combination and/or configuration of these components, wellteq can serve many customer segments globally.

For more on this exciting development and what’s next, please chat to our teams:

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