President’s Perspective: Digital Health
In this month’s issue of Pulse, you’ll read about the grand opening of the AT&T Foundry for Connected Health, located right here in Houston at the Texas Medical Center’s Innovation Institute. The newest of six such centers worldwide, Houston’s foundry is a collaborative environment dedicated to fostering new digital health technology, an exciting and growing field with unlimited potential to transform the field of medicine.
Focused on the management and analysis of patient data—be it genomic, diagnostic, phenotypic, environmental or anything in between—digital health care solutions hold the key to future groundbreaking therapies, disease management protocols, personalized medicine approaches and advances in global population health. Even more, harnessing these applications for prevention and behavioral modification measures could mean a future with less chronic illness overall.
Through aggregated electronic medical records, wearables such as activity trackers and smart watches, and a host of other devices embedded with data collection technology, physicians have access to more information than ever before. The key is creating a system for the appropriate and strategic management of this data so that it can be analyzed in a meaningful way, helping providers make decisions with patients about personal health plans and giving scientists and researchers the tools for new insights and discoveries.
In the Texas Medical Center, we have the largest concentration of patients in one site in the world and one of the most diverse sets of patient data in the world. It’s an ideal setting for this new frontier, and through partnerships with industry giants like IBM Watson, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and now AT&T, I have no doubt that Houston will be the exemplar of how digital health technology will improve human health globally, now and in the future.