Skip to content Skip to navigation

Report: Digital Health Solutions Could Save Healthcare Industry $100B

June 8, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Digital health solutions achieved the U.S. healthcare industry $6 billion in cost savings in 2014, and are expected to save the system more than $100 billion over the next four years, according to new research from the New York City-based Accenture.

Accenture estimates that FDA-approved digital health solutions—an internet-connected device or software created for detection or treatment of a medical indication—could save the healthcare industry $10 billion in 2015, $18 billion in 2016, $30 billion in 2017 and $50 billion in 2018. Accenture also predicts that FDA approvals of digital health solutions will triple by the end of 2018, to 100, from 33 last year. These savings are primarily driven by medication adherence, behavior modifications and fewer ER visits, the research says.

The study assessed the number of digital health solutions that received FDA 510(k) clearance from 2010 through 2014. Accenture’s research found several factors, such as health IT mandates, payment reform and regulatory changes will accelerate the growth of FDA-approved digital solutions:

  • Increased use of healthcare IT among physicians and patients, driven by federal meaningful use mandates, will continue enabling devices and solutions to integrate with patient portals and digital health records. In fact, a recent survey from Accenture found that 25 percent of U.S. physicians routinely use telemonitoring devices for some aspect of chronic disease management.
  • Growing demand for patients to self-manage care: Accenture estimates the number of U.S. consumers who own a wearable fitness device will double in the next five years, from 22 percent this year to 43 percent by 2020. In fact, an Accenture survey found over half (57 percent) of U.S. consumers self-track their health information online, such as medical history (cited by 37 percent of respondents), physical activity (34 percent) and symptoms (33 percent).
  • Recently released regulatory guidelines for low-risk health products, establishing a line between when a wellness tool—such as a heart rate monitor—becomes a medical device, will enable more clarity on the process, expedite regulatory pathways and is expected to drive 30 percent annual growth of these solutions through 2018.
  •  A shift to value-based reimbursement is creating fertile ground for clinical and business strategies that incorporate [digital health] devices. Accenture estimates digital health funding will reach $6.5 billion by 2018.

“A digital disruption is playing out in healthcare, as witnessed by the emergence of new business models and technology that will change the nature of patient interactions, alter consumer expectations and ultimately improve health outcomes,” Rick Ratliff, managing director of digital health solutions, Accenture, said in a statement.  “As consumer health platforms support more ‘medical’ devices, rather than just today’s wellness trackers, they’ll create a viable self-care model in a segment that today is occupied by chronic-disease monitoring companies.”



ONC National Coordinator Gets Live Look at Carequality Data Exchange

Officials from Carequality have stated that there are now more than 150,000 clinicians across 11,000 clinics and 500 hospitals live on its network. These participants are also able to share health data records with one another, regardless of technology vendor.

American Red Cross, Teladoc to Provide Telehealth Services to Disaster Victims

The American Red Cross announced a partnership with Teladoc to deliver remote medical care to communities in the United States that are significantly affected by disasters.

Report: The Business of Cybercrime in Healthcare is Growing

While stolen financial data still has a higher market value than stolen medical records, as financial data can be monetized faster, there are indications that there is ongoing development of a market for stolen medical data, according to an Intel Security McAfee Labs report.

Phishing Attack at Baystate Health Potentially Exposes Data of 13K Patients

A phishing scam at Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. has potentially exposed the personal data of 13,000 patients, according to a privacy statement from the patient care organization and a report from MassLive.

New Use Cases Driving Growth in Health Data Exchange through Direct

In an update, DirectTrust reported significant growth in Direct exchange of health information and the number of trusted Direct addressed enabled to share personal health information (PHI) in the third quarter of 2016.

Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.