Key takeaways from the 2018 CES Digital Health Summit

 In Medical Product Design

This year, modern medicine, healthcare and wellness professionals gathered in Las Vegas between Jan. 9 and 12 for the Consumer Technology Association Digital Health Summit. With so many upcoming advances in precision medicine, mobile, AI and deep machine learning, professionals need to take advantage of the potential business opportunities impacting the industry.

Among the many topics of discussion during the event, here are a few of the key takeaways from the 2018 CES Digital Health Summit:

1. Healthcare by definition is changing
Traditionally, only certain medical conditions were considered for treatment under specific healthcare covereage plans. According to MedCity News, the definition of this sector is expanding to cover "whole health," which means even mental health is considered under healthcare. Medical professionals are considering virtual reality as a potential form of treating mental health problems, as a demo of Lumen, a self-guided meditative platform, was displayed at the Summit. Artificial intelligence and machine learning is expected to overthrow the power of medicine in the future.

2. 5G connectivity is the future
3G wireless mobile telecommunications technology amazed consumers when it debuted in the early 2000s. Soon after, 4G networking took the reign and made connectivity faster and more efficient than ever before. Now, 5G is ready to make its debut, proving to be 50 times faster than current 4G connectivity, according to Forbes contributor Deborah Weinswig. To put its power into perspective, Weinswig compared the networks capabilities.

"5G is 50 times faster than 4G connectivity."

"Whereas it would take 26 hours to download a two-hour movie on a 3G network, and six minutes on today's 4G network, downloading the same movie would take just 3.6 seconds on a 5G network," she wrote.

The development of 5G will begin this year and continue into 2020. This will impact a variety of industries, healthcare included.  

3. Wearables are enabling consumers to take control of their health
More and more people are feeling proactive about taking care of their own health thanks to innovations like wearable technology, specifically smartwatches. Companies are making their products more personalized and customer-centric, making users more inclined to purchase and make use of the smartwatch. For instance, Weinswig reported that Kate Spade partnered with Fossil to create a new line of smartwatches that offers full touchscreen capabilities and comes in three different styles. The watches also include an app called "Choose Your Look" which enables the interface to change to match the user's jewelry, handbag and outfit.

While these innovative designs are encouraging consumers to use smartwatches, there are many improvements that need to be made to keep the product attractive and relevant, as David Rhew, CMO of Samsung Electronics America, shared at the conference.

"Down the road, we're going to start to see devices like wearables being personalized to your condition," he said, according to MedCity News.

Other hot topics of discussion at the 2018 CES Digital Health Summit included digital therapeutics and advances in telehealth and remote home monitoring.

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