What Technology is Disrupting Healthcare?


A week after the inaugural Digital Healthcare Transformation Assembly, the conversations about the technology disrupting healthcare are still ongoing.

In light of this, we thought we take a look at the technology out there.


Uber and Lyft are among the apps that have successfully leveraged the sharing economy for profit. Having already disrupted the taxi industry, the two ride-sharing giants are now tackling healthcare.

Making sure that people get to their appointments is not a new problem. According to a study by BMC Health Services Research, community hospitals average 62 no-shows a day, costing $3 million. For teaching hospitals, the average rate of no-shows is 25% and tat of late arrivals is 31%. Uber and Lyft are helping to alleviate these problems.

Earlier this year, Lyft announced its partnership with American Medical Response. The two companies have worked together to generate a plan to alleviate pressure on emergency services, as well as ensure that patients are getting to their appointments on time. Lyft will be providing non-emergency medical transportation services for patients, who need a ride from the hospital to their home or to outpatient procedures.

“Our health plan and health system partners rely upon AMR and our Access2Care subsidiary to effectively manage the non-emergency transportation needs of their members. This partnership with Lyft provides an additional transport option for patients who require transportation, but do not need the services of an ambulance or other higher level of care,” said Sven Johnson, CEO of Managed Transportation and Integrated Solutions at AMR.

Lyft’s platform is the fraction of the cost of traditional taxi firms, thus saving money as well.


Drones or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are typically associated with retail logistics. For example, Amazon has been experimenting with the technology to improve delivery efficiencies.

Interestingly this technology is already having an impact in healthcare. Back in October, Zipline, a drone startup announced a partnership with UPS and Gavi to deliver blood supplies to the remote transfusion facilities in Western Rwanda.

“Because of infrastructure deficiencies like impassable or nonexistent roads and supply chain challenges, many remote health centers across the world only receive deliveries twice a year,” the company told Healthcare Dive via email. “Zipline will make it possible for these same clinics to receive deliveries twice a day.”

The use of drone technology to deliver vital supplies to remote areas will impact healthcare in the coming years, reducing the loss of life and cost.

Artificial Intelligence

Digital health technology is already impacting healthcare, and with strong investment in the area is certainly an area to watch.

Messenger apps and ChatBots that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning technology are making huge waves across healthcare. Amazon Alexa announced last month their partnership with WebMD, enabling device users to ask Alexa a medical question.

Startup Buoy announced their new product, an AI-powered resource, available either online or through an app, that sources medical information from over 18,000 clinical papers, covering 5 million patients and 1,700 conditions. The technology is designed to prevent people simply googling their symptoms and getting scared. Instead, this offers more reliable and specific answers.

“Most people Google their symptoms, but the information is unreliable,” said Le, who is CEO and cofounder of Buoy. “I was working in the ER as a medical resident, and I saw so many people Googling and essentially guessing from the results, and very often guessing wrong. It turned out that 78 percent of patients could have been taken care of out of the ER, and while that is better safe than sorry, that’s a lot of waste.”


The era of the on-demand patient is here. Healthcare is shifting to focus on consumer needs, offering products and services to suit the individual’s needs. This has led to an explosion in Telehealth technology. This technology enables the patient to have a video consult with a doctor, which saves them time and travel expense.

For patients with busy working lives or those who live remotely, telehealth has opened access to healthcare.

Symptom Management Apps

Apps are disrupting healthcare in a huge way. From health tracking to symptom management, these apps are empowering the patient and providing invaluable data to researchers and providers alike.


Synergy Poop Troop

Synergy Poop Troop App courtesy of MobiHealthNews

Last year, the American Cancer Society announced its support of Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (of New York’s Northwell Health system), research into an app that helps guide people living with prostate cancer through the treatment decision process.


Malecare also launched a mobile app to track cancer symptoms called Cancergraph, which has been designed by cancer survivors and caregivers. The app helps cancer sufferers works to track symptoms and side effects, ultimately leading to more informed and detailed conversations with their doctor.

“For anyone who is going through cancer this is an invaluable tool,” Malecare founder Darryl Mitteldorf said in a statement. “The ability to accurately keep track of symptoms and side effects changes cancer care for both the patient and doctor.”

Apps are also helping healthcare providers to start conversations with patients about subjects that historically have been difficult to have.

A few days ago, Synergy Pharmaceuticals launched the emoji app ‘The Poop Troop’ to get people talking about their bathroom habits. An estimated 33 million Americans living with Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC). Synergy hopes that the app will encourage critical discussion leading to better treatments and also a more open attitude to the problem, providing vital support for sufferers.

“Many people with CIC feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about their symptoms with those closest to them, so they often suffer in silence,” Synergy’s Senior Marketing Director Julie Holcombe said in a statement. “Our hope is that the Poop Troop can help make difficult conversations easier for people with CIC, while raising awareness around the impact of CIC beyond those living with this complex disorder.”


Healthcare Providers Transformation AssemblyHealth Systems are shifting to become more retail-focused as they respond to consumer demand for new technology, greater price transparency, and cost savings. Despite the unknown future of ACA, these customer-centric policies have never been more important. Businesses must address rapid innovation and competition from non-traditional players, but above all, they must continue to respond to empowered consumers as customer-centric transformation sweeps healthcare.

Through a series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions offering insight into industry-specific topics and trends, will help you stay one step ahead.

This is not just another “Healthcare” event. If you work in a Hospital/ Health System and you are the Chief Information Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Information Medical Officer, Chief Innovation Officer or the Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, then you should be attending this event.

More information is available here >


Healthcare Payers Transformation AssemblyTechnological advances in genomics, personalized healthcare, AI (and more!), coupled with consumer demand for greater price transparency, have changed the face of healthcare in North America. The need for the Healthcare Insurance industry to adapt has never been greater.

Join industry heavyweights like Henry Chao, Retired CIO & CTO, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services across a series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions offering insight into industry-specific topics and trends, helping you stay one step ahead.

This is not just another “Healthcare” event. If you are the Chief Information Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Information Medical Officer or the Chief Innovation Officer then you should be attending this event.

Enquire here >

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