By: Kristin Peixotto on RH Strategic
New approaches, technologies and collaborations are redefining how the healthcare industry provides care.
The players to watch are focused on mental health, artificial intelligence, and health equity. As they concentrate on their individual strategies, they share aspirational goals to improve healthcare outcomes, cost and access.
Here’s who to watch in 2023.
Mental Health Innovations
Mental health is a top national health concern with 90% of U.S. adults calling it a crisis and nearly 50 million Americans experiencing a mental illness. However, with a shortage of mental health providers and high costs for care, many struggle to get the help they need. This year coming up with both policy and technological solutions will be key to curbing the national mental health crisis. These companies are breaking new ground:
- Charlie Health develops personalized, virtual treatment programs for teens, young adults and families struggling with mental health and substance use disorders.
- Winterlight Labs develops technology that quickly and accurately detects signs of cognitive impairment associated with mental illness and dementia from a sample of speech with machine learning.
- meru health developed a virtual care approach that leverages a dedicated therapist, self-paced lessons and activities and a wearable device that shows the real-time relationship between emotional and physical responses.
- Mightier gamifies emotional regulation for children ages 6 to 14.
- Quartet partners with insurance companies, primary care providers and therapists to help patients get a mental health counselor.
- Elemy matches pediatric patients with a therapist to create a personalized in-home and online treatment plan, and gives caregivers the ability to track the patients’ progress.
AI Advancements in Healthcare
Tech giants like Apple and Google are honing AI-influenced strategies with their connected devices, but there’s ample space in the patient journey for improvement. Artificial intelligence could save the U.S. up to $360 billion annually if adopted more widely in healthcare, according to one report from McKinsey and Harvard researchers. A few companies to watch in this space are:
- Sybil uses AI and image data to predict the risk of a patient developing lung cancer within the next six years.
- Kintsugi develops novel voice biomarker software to detect signs of depression and anxiety from short clips of free-form speech using AI.
- CognitiveCare uses AI, advanced math, statistics, heterogeneous patient-level data to assess health risks for mothers and infants.
- Digital Diagnostics uses an AI diagnostic system to autonomously diagnose patients for diabetic retinopathy, including macular edema.
- Fountain Life detects cancer, heart disease and dementia in their earliest stages.
Health Equity Solutions
Everyone should have a fair opportunity to attain their highest level of health. Achieving health equity requires organizations and health providers to address the disparities that have stood in the way: historical and contemporary injustices, as well as the economic and social obstacles to health and health care.
Today, many large healthcare organizations, including medical device companies, insurers, and healthcare systems, are focused on solutions and investments that produce more equitable outcomes. CMS also released an updated framework to further advance health equity, expand coverage and improve health outcomes for the more than 170 million individuals supported by its programs. And, as policymakers increasingly prioritize this work, the private sector faces new opportunities. Over the next year, we can expect more investments in this area as transparency into companies’ equity plans grows. We are also seeing new solutions proposed by emerging companies, such as:
- Inato facilitates trials and expands research site potential, which can be used to highlight trial diversity, patient access, special capabilities and more.
- Pair Team provides care teams and digital assistants that act as a virtual extension of community health centers to improve access and clinical outcomes for their communities.
- Spatially Health pioneered new methods in geospatial analytics and location intelligence to help managed care organizations, clinicians, hospitals and other health care providers better understand and improve social determinants of health.
What’s at Stake?
U.S. health spending continues to be the highest in the world and is expected to triple to nearly $12 trillion by 2040 despite having the worst health outcomes of any high-income nation. Unnecessary healthcare spending that stems from structural inequities and biases currently costs the country $320 billion. Mental illness costs are also expected to reach more than $6 trillion annually by 2030.
Innovations tackling issues like improving health outcomes, the mental health crisis and health equity are critical to ease these financial burdens during a difficult economy. We are optimistic about the future of healthcare in this country as we are inspired by those who are shaping the industry and bringing change. We look forward to watching the transformation that takes place over the next year.
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based PR agency with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government and healthcare markets.