Healthcare systems are under increasing pressure to reduce costs while improving patient outcomes and, in response, the healthcare industry is moving towards a range of value-added services described as "beyond the pill". Most of these have a digital component and target to provide a holistic offering that affords better accessibility and connectivity to the healthcare system.
The term 'Connected Health' encompasses a wide range of products and services; wearables, along with various smartphone apps, are perhaps the most well-known. However, there is also a rapid emergence of new sensor-laden technologies which include, for example, products that combine a drug with an ingestible sensor in a single tablet to digitally record ingestion and compliance, or sensors that monitor asthma medication inhalation intake and detect poor air quality. Telehealth is another important outgrowth in this field.
Such connected health devices and services have the potential to enable patients and general consumers to be more actively engaged in, and drive outcomes that improve or maintain, their health. They can also allow physicians to provide recommendations based on more than an occasional consultation. Ultimately, connected health has the potential to enable earlier diagnosis and intervention, improve health and prevent disease onset, and reduce healthcare costs.