When Innovation Draws a New Future for Patient Treatments

What is the difference between NASA in 1969 – the year that the organization put a man on the moon – and the smartphone that you use every day? The phone in your hand has more computing power in it than the entire NASA organization did in 1969, and has a processing speed a million times more powerful.

What this juxtaposition shows is that we are living in a world of rapidly evolving technology, giving extraordinary opportunity for people living with chronic diseases to harness these advances to transform the quality of their everyday lives.

In presentations at the recent European Patient Innovation Summit in Milan, key speakers including Sam Dickinson, Google UK, and Esther Rodriguez-Villegas, Imperial College UK, provided insight into the ways in which technological advances will help us define how patients can manage their condition.

Wearable technologies

We are constantly transmitting information about our health and wellbeing, providing the opportunity for wearable technology to capture these signals and monitor pre-diagnosed conditions. In order for this technology to be truly valuable to patients, Esther Rodriguez-Villegas noted four criteria that devices would need to fulfill:

  • Small and lightweight
  • Portable
  • Non-intrusive
  • Accurate in the information they provide

Furthermore, the ability for instant identification of symptoms, or their change would provide the opportunity to treat diseases at the onset rather than leaving a condition going undetected, or to optimize the disease management. Real-time analysis of what is happening in a patient’s body would then equip them with the information they need, whenever they need it most to ensure the proper care.

Matching enormous quantities of data secured from wearable technologies with new found processing abilities provides us with increasing opportunities to monitor the progression and fluctuation of symptoms for each individual patient. This will allow the creation of ever more personalized treatment paths – bringing us into a world where hyper-personalized medicine is the norm.

Patient and physician dialogue

The diagnostic and monitoring tools developed as wearable technology will impact patients beyond their everyday lives to transform their relationship with their health care providers. The data captured will give opportunity for patients to arrive at the hospital for a consultation armed with a wide range of personal data which could even extend beyond diagnostic monitoring to psychological observations as well as a different range of potential biomarkers. This in turn will give far greater and instantaneous understanding of their unique portfolio of needs, allowing for more sophisticated treatment planning than current methods could ever provide.

With the opportunity that technology brings, Novartis is committed to helping define new ways in which medicines are delivered to patients.

These insights were taken from the European Patient Innovation Summit, a forum in which 130 patient advocacy groups from 22 countries gathered together to discuss how technology will revolutionize the journeys of patients and patient groups alike. For more insights, watch some of the presentations.

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