MedTech Revolution: Rep. David Schweikert discusses the disruption of digital health and reimbursement
Congressman David Schweikert was recently the featured keynote speaker at the Arizona Technology Council’s MedTech Monthly event, sponsored by Arizona Technology Council member, iTether Technologies, Inc.
Digital Health is promising to revolutionize healthcare delivery, optimize personalized and precision medicine, and offer new tools for drug and diagnostic development. The applications of biosensors, mobile devices, mobile health platforms, artificial intelligence and digital biomarkers are quickly expanding into all areas of patient monitoring and disease management, point-of-care diagnostics and digital endpoints in clinical trials.
A member of the United States House of Representatives representing the 6th district of Arizona, Congressman David Schweikert was recently the featured keynote speaker at the Arizona Technology Council’s MedTech Monthly event, sponsored by Arizona Technology Council member, iTether. Schweikert was on hand to discuss the barriers of digital health that are preventing the revolution of healthcare delivery.
Schweikert is passionate about the digital healthcare revolution. From telemedicine to wearables and digital medical records on your phone to the autonomous vehicle that delivers your prescription, Schweikert has long championed technological innovations as the solution to the problems of over-burdensome government regulations.
Investment in digital health is at an all-time high. According to some estimates, investment in the sector reached $1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2018. But digital health uptake has still been slow within established medtech companies due to the fact that getting from pilot to scale is a considerable challenge. One key reason is the lack of a clear path for reimbursement. This is a critical step in launching a new device, and the fact that there is no clear parallel for digital health is daunting for many medtech executives, but maybe it doesn’t have to be.
Schweikert is a strong advocate for creating a disruption in healthcare technology and creating a strong ecosystem of data to make it easier for both patients and their physicians. Schweikert’s dedication and passion for creating a strong ecosystem of data were apparent as he discussed the importance of having medical records at your fingertips.
“How much better off is society now that technology is intertwined with healthcare?” Schweikert asked. “We need better access to medical records…the technology already exists where they’re sitting on a cloud and can be accessed through an encrypted portal.”
“The question is, how to finance the disruption that we’re desperately hoping changes the chronic care population by making people’s lives better,” Schweikert explained.
As co-chair of the Telehealth Caucus and Co-Founder of Congressional Blockchain Caucus, it’s clear that Schweikert has a keen interest in digital aspects that affect his constituents. He has placed an emphasis on making digital healthcare more accessible and affordable for all.
“The fact of the matter is, whether it be the lobbying side or the infrastructure side, we need to have a revolution in how we think about these things,” Schweikert added. “We’re trying to pitch a bunch of ideas at the state legislature now on a healthcare IT sandbox, sort of like how we did the blockchain sandbox, to see if we could roll out something like that in our community.”
“It’s important that we have universal access of our own medical records,” Schweikert said. “Data is the hub of the medtech revolution.”
In the meantime, the debate continues on whether telemedicine is too futuristic.
“If you think that telemedicine is not the future, you are correct…it’s the present,” Schweikert said. “It’s the ultimate solution for society that extends care beyond the clinic.”
Schweikert added, “But it’s not enough to have a cure if we can’t afford it.”
“It was a pleasure to have such a great turnout to our Monthly MedTech Meeting with Congressman Schweikert speaking about the value of digital health and the future of reimbursement for healthcare providers that adopt digital health solutions,” said Sean Gunderson, co-founder of iTether Technologies, Inc. “It was a great forum to illustrate the number of Arizona Technology Council MedTech companies in Arizona that are on the leading edge of innovation, which leads to improving the quality of healthcare while reducing the cost of care.”
iTether transforms outpatient treatment services by actively engaging patients, delivery accountability through evidence-based treatment, and improving patient and population outcomes. iTether’s mission is to improve treatment and recovery of co-morbid behavioral health and chronic diseases by increasing patient engagement and activation beyond the clinical walls. To learn more about iTether, visit http://itethertech.com.