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Shifting the dial from reactive to proactive healthcare

February 21, 2023
Comment

Shifting the dial from reactive to proactive healthcare

February 21, 2023

Dr. Arrash Yassaee

Global Clinical Director at Huma

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Summary: The prevailing model of healthcare is more reactive than proactive, treating health problems rather than preventing them. We believe digital healthcare tools can flip this model by offering a more holistic insight into a patient’s health over time. Our Global Clinical Director Dr. Arrash Yassaee explains how Huma is building digital healthcare tools to predict and prevent rather than detect and treat disease.

The prevailing model of Western healthcare is generally more reactive than it is preventative. Patients go to their healthcare provider when they have noticed that something isn’t right – when they’ve developed a new symptom or set of symptoms over time.

Although this system works for many short-term, acute illnesses, it often fails when it comes to chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which may progress slowly over time. By the time there are enough symptoms to trigger a trip to the doctor, irreversible changes may have already occurred.

Considering how our healthcare system serves people with long-term health conditions is important, as more than 70% of deaths globally are the result of chronic diseases, according to the World Health Organisation. The risk of chronic disease increases with age1, which means as the population ages, more of us are likely to face a long-term illness. In the EU in 2019, more than half of people aged 65 and over had at least one chronic disease2.

At Huma, we believe that digital tools have a critical role to play in shifting away from the reactive model of healthcare towards a more proactive, preventative one.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Moving towards more proactive healthcare - detecting and managing health conditions at an earlier stage - could be transformative for patients and wider society, ultimately improving overall health and wellbeing.

From the perspective of the healthcare system too, preventing disease is more cost-effective than treating it. A review of more than 50 public health interventions found that for every £1 invested in public health, £14 will be returned to the economy3.

Digital health: the gateway to preventative healthcare?

At Huma, we believe that digital tools have a critical role to play in shifting away from the reactive model of healthcare towards a more proactive, preventative one. By collecting data directly from individuals over time in a real-world setting, digital tools can provide a more complete picture of health and provide valuable insights to steer healthcare decisions.

Right now, remote monitoring tools - like our award-winning hospital at home technology - allow a patient’s health to be monitored continuously, away from the clinic and from the comfort of their own home. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, being able to monitor patients remotely became a critical way of triaging patients while maintaining infection control.

We supported hospitals in England and Germany to monitor COVID patients remotely using our hospital at home platform. A recent evaluation of the German trial showed a 3-4 times lower mortality rate for patients using the technology, and an average hospital stay four days shorter than the German national average for COVID-19 patients4.

The same technology can be used to prioritise patients with other conditions, too. In collaboration with Royal Brompton hospital in London, our Hospital at Home technology was used to remotely monitor patients waiting for cardiac surgery.

For six months, patients recorded their symptoms each week, which clinicians could access to quickly assess their clinical severity. Of the 525 patients who used the app, 51 were identified as potentially deteriorating. Almost 90% of these potentially deteriorating patients had their surgery date brought forward thanks to information provided by the app5.

In addition to helping to triage patients with acute conditions or those waiting for surgery, remote patient monitoring also has huge potential for chronic conditions, which make up the bulk of primary care.

We recently demonstrated this in a pilot study in Wales, where cardiac patients could input their vital signs and symptoms remotely, with clinicians able to monitor these signs and symptoms over time.

In just 12 weeks, we reduced the time needed to optimise medications by more than 76%. We also helped to keep patients safe, with 82% of cases escalated for further clinical input being identified thanks to data collected in the app. As a result, 10% of patients were able to avoid admission to hospital, and a further 5% could leave hospital early.

From proactive to predictive care

The ultimate vision of preventative healthcare is not only to look after patients once they are diagnosed with a condition, but to identify patients at risk of becoming ill, intervening early to prevent or delay the onset of disease.

At Huma, we are validating models that we developed to predict risk of cardiovascular disease6, as well as mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression7, using easily collectable lifestyle data. As well as predicting risk, we can also use the data we have collected to help patients to reduce their risk through lifestyle changes.

We have also been working on a more general risk score – called the C-Score – which determines risk for mortality from all causes. The easy-to-understand, points-based score is based on lifestyle factors data collected by smartphone8. The C-Score can predict risk for all-cause mortality within 10 years, with a recent validation showing that the score was able to predict 87% of mortality in a US sample9.

Building digital tools, the right way

Digital tools are central to the vision of a more proactive, predictive and preventative model of healthcare. However, as we move towards this vision, it is vital that digital tools are built the right way. At Huma, we keep four key considerations in mind when building all of our technology.

Firstly, we believe that digital tools must allow patients to collect and input their clinical measurements in a way that is both simple and robust. We are continuously developing new methods of monitoring vital signs that meet these goals, such as measuring breathing rate using just a smartphone10.

We believe digital tools should be able to manage multiple conditions. In the US, 40% of adults have two or more chronic illnesses11. This means digital tools need to be able to monitor a range of vital signs, rather than signs or symptoms that are specific to just one condition.

We also believe that digital tools should empower the patient to improve their health and wellbeing. For all our models in development, we make sure that the data collected is used not only for clinician review but also for the patient’s own consideration, along with tailored advice that could help their health.

And, of course, it’s essential that all of our digital tools are attractive and easy to use. We believe using an app to manage your health should be just as simple as using an app to order a takeaway. We want people to want to use our technology, helping everyone to better understand their health and the steps they can take to live longer, fuller lives.

Sources

  1. Bland, J. S. (2018) Age as a Modifiable Risk Factor for Chronic Disease. Integr Med (Encinitas), 17(4): 16-19.
  2. OECD/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (2019), United Kingdom: Country Health Profile 2019, State of Health in the EU, OECD Publishing.
  3. Masters, R., Anwar, E., Collins, B., Cookson, R. and Capewell, S. (2017). Return on investment of public health interventions: a systematic review. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 71(8), pp.827–834. doi:10.1136/jech-2016-208141.
  4. Lim, A. et al. (2022) An Outpatient Management Strategy Using a Coronataxi Digital Early Warning System Reduces Coronavirus Disease 2019 Mortality Open forum infectious diseases 9(4), ofac063. DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofac063.
  5. Obika, B.D., Dolezova, N., Ponzo, S., Valentine, S., Shah, S., Gledhill, J., Plans, D., Nicholson, C., Walters, C., Stephen, L., Ng, S., Ayres, J., Petrou, M., Bhudia, S., Denny, C., Schrauwers, H. and Markides, V. (2021). Implementation of a mHealth solution to remotely monitor patients on a cardiac surgical waiting list: service evaluation. JAMIA Open, 4(3). doi:10.1093/jamiaopen/ooab053.
  6. Dolezalova, N., Reed, A.B., Despotovic, A., Obika, B.D., Morelli, D., Aral, M. and Plans, D. (2021). Development of an accessible 10-year Digital CArdioVAscular (DiCAVA) risk assessment: a UK Biobank study. European Heart Journal - Digital Health, 2(3), pp.528–538. doi:10.1093/ehjdh/ztab057.
  7. Morelli, D., Dolezalova, N., Ponzo, S., Colombo, M. and Plans, D. (2021). Development of Digitally Obtainable 10-Year Risk Scores for Depression and Anxiety in the General Population. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.689026.
  8. Clift, A.K., Lannou, E.L., Tighe, C.P., Shah, S.S., Beatty, M., Hyvärinen, A., Lane, S.J., Strauss, T., Dunn, D.D., Lu, J., Aral, M., Vahdat, D., Ponzo, S. and Plans, D. (2021). Development and Validation of Risk Scores for All-Cause Mortality for a Smartphone-Based ‘General Health Score’ App: Prospective Cohort Study Using the UK Biobank. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 9(2), p.e25655. doi:10.2196/25655.
  9. Elnakib, S., Vecino-Ortiz, A.I., Gibson, D.G., Agarwal, S., Trujillo, A.J., Zhu, Y. and Labrique, A.B. (2022). A Novel Score for mHealth Apps to Predict and Prevent Mortality: Further Validation and Adaptation to the US Population Using the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data Set. JMIR, 24(6), p.e36787. doi:10.2196/36787.
  10. Valentine, S., Cunningham, A.C., Klasmer, B., Dabbah, M., Balabanovic, M., Aral, M., Vahdat, D. and Plans, D. (2022). Smartphone movement sensors for the remote monitoring of respiratory rates: Technical validation. DIGITAL HEALTH, 8, p.205520762210890. doi:10.1177/20552076221089090.
  11. CDC (2019). Chronic Diseases in America. [online] cdc.gov. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/chronic-diseases.htm.

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Making an impact

3000+

3000+ hospitals and clinics supported across Huma platforms to secure the most sustainable impact for patients1

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Our platform can almost double clinical capacity and reduce readmission rates by >30%3

27m+

Huma's digital-first health platforms support a network of 27m patients1

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Over 1 million devices have been shipped in support of our projects and we know what it takes to deploy at scale1

Winner of the 2022 Prix Galien award for digital health, widely regarded as 'pharma's Nobel prize'4

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Winner of the 2022 Prix Galien award for digital health, widely regarded as 'pharma's Nobel prize'4

Winner of the 2022 Prix Galien award for digital health, widely regarded as 'pharma's Nobel prize'4

Sources:

Comment

Shifting the dial from reactive to proactive healthcare

February 21, 2023
Comment

Shifting the dial from reactive to proactive healthcare

February 21, 2023

Huma joins digital pioneers to advance health equity in care and research

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Dan Vahdat, is returning to the annual World Economic Forum’s main conference where he will join a panel discussion devoted to improving care for non-communicable disease and tackling health equity. Accompanied by Chief Financial and Strategy Officer, Ingeborg Oie, Dan is looking forward to connecting with other attendees to explore how Huma’s digital health platform can make healthcare more equitable, and advances proactive, predictive care.

Huma joins digital pioneers to advance health equity in care and research

Date:Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Time:4:15 - 5:15 p.m. CET
Location:Ice Village, Eisbahnstrasse 5, Davos, Switzerland
Dan will join the Digital Health Action Alliance panel at Davos to discuss Turning the Tide in Non-Communicable Disease Care Through Digital Health and Community Connection. Huma has a long history of advancing the care of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and lung conditions. Huma’s innovative remote patient monitoring platform enables broad patient recruitment, reduces reliance on in-person clinic visits and increases health system efficiency.
*This session is open to registered Annual Meeting 2023 participants and Affiliate badge holders.

Huma is one of the first to sign the Zero Health Gaps Pledge

Huma is one of the first signatories to the Zero Health Gaps Pledge, the World Economic Forum’s Global Health Equity Network’s (GHEN) initiative. Huma supports GHEN’s ambition to build a future without disparities in health or wellbeing outcomes. Huma’s digital platform has been built on a deep clinical knowledge of complex patient needs and how people engage with technology and we are committed to ensuring our technology promotes health equity. We are proud to work with governments, hospital groups, universities, life science and technology companies to bring greater scale and impact and help all people live longer, fuller lives.

Huma at World Economic Forum

Global Innovators and Tech Pioneers
Dec 2022: Huma selected to join 100 innovative companies on a two-year journey as part of the World Economic Forum’s initiatives, activities and events, bringing their cutting-edge insight and fresh thinking to critical global discussions.
Learn more
Working Together, Restoring Trust
May 2022: With the aim to address economic, environmental, political, and social fault-lines exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dan Vahdat speaks at WEF annual meeting about the importance of scientific collaboration.
Learn more
Accelerating innovation and breaking new ground
October 2022: Dan joined the WEF Biotech Future Forum 2022 to discuss how start-ups are breaking new ground in biotech and changing the way we interact with the world, but also how the sector can earn trust, scale successfully and spot the brightest innovations.
Learn more
Making connections at Davos
Jan 2019: Dan attended WEF as an unofficial attendee and spoke to CNBC about the importance of meeting in-person to make connections.
Learn more
Comment

Shifting the dial from reactive to proactive healthcare

February 21, 2023
Media contact
A headshot of Karen Birmingham PhD
Karen Birmingham PhD
Head of PR & Communications
karen.birmingham@huma.com
Comment

Shifting the dial from reactive to proactive healthcare

February 21, 2023
Media contact
A headshot of Karen Birmingham PhD
Karen Birmingham PhD
Head of PR & Communications
karen.birmingham@huma.com

Summary: The prevailing model of healthcare is more reactive than proactive, treating health problems rather than preventing them. We believe digital healthcare tools can flip this model by offering a more holistic insight into a patient’s health over time. Our Global Clinical Director Dr. Arrash Yassaee explains how Huma is building digital healthcare tools to predict and prevent rather than detect and treat disease.

The prevailing model of Western healthcare is generally more reactive than it is preventative. Patients go to their healthcare provider when they have noticed that something isn’t right – when they’ve developed a new symptom or set of symptoms over time.

Although this system works for many short-term, acute illnesses, it often fails when it comes to chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which may progress slowly over time. By the time there are enough symptoms to trigger a trip to the doctor, irreversible changes may have already occurred.

Considering how our healthcare system serves people with long-term health conditions is important, as more than 70% of deaths globally are the result of chronic diseases, according to the World Health Organisation. The risk of chronic disease increases with age1, which means as the population ages, more of us are likely to face a long-term illness. In the EU in 2019, more than half of people aged 65 and over had at least one chronic disease2.

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Huma began its journey in 2011, when the company was founded in London. Since then, Huma has grown to become a global healthcare company, spanning across multiple geographies and operating across four continents.

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