Highlights from 21st Century Technology for 21st Century Cures Testimony

July 17, 2014

An expert panel of witnesses today testified at a joint hearing of the Communications and Technology and Health Subcommittees to discuss opportunities for technology to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery cycle of new cures and treatments. Below are key highlights from their testimony. 

Qualcomm’s Robert Jarrin shared the heartfelt story of his own mother’s cancer diagnosis and how a lack of mobile health applications opened his eyes to the glaring opportunity for improvement. He said, “In the eight years since my mom’s initial diagnosis, sophisticated mobile computing devices have helped enable consumer health IT technologies, software and mobile medical and wellness apps. Remote patient monitoring is now rapidly proliferating through the use of medical devices and health IT software platforms that are beginning to drive systemic change within healthcare institutions and health networks.”

Amazon.com’s Paul Misener explained the many benefits of cloud computing for health care including the increased ability for researchers to openly share their data.  “With cloud computing, information technology (IT) users, including healthcare providers, research institutions, start-ups, and other enterprises, now can acquire technology resources such as compute power and storage on an as-needed basis, instead of buying, owning, and maintaining their own datacenters or servers,” said Misener. “As a result, healthcare start-ups, medical research institutions, hospitals, and clinical providers of all sizes have more agility, enabling biomedical innovations for 21st century cures.”

“To realize a true 21st century healthcare system, we need a fundamental change in our healthcare delivery model. We need to replace a fragmented transactional system with patient-centric coordinated care. This transformation has begun, but we must dramatically accelerate the pace of change,” added Dr. Jonathan Niloff of the McKesson Corporation. “If we are successful, the result will be better outcomes, better access, better cost efficiency and better experiences for patients and their families.”

Dr. Dan Riskin of Fidelity Health similarly explained that data-driven health care can improve the flow of information to result in better patient care. “Data-driven healthcare not only assures the right information is available for the right patient at the right time, but also provides pathways for information to be used in less traditional ways such as population health and patient engagement,” said Riskin. “The goal in data-driven care is not to capture healthcare data electronically or enhance reporting information, though these are necessary steps along the way. The goal is rather a more efficient, effective, and approachable healthcare system that provides high quality care at an affordable price.”

Finally, Dave Vockell, CEO of mobile health program developer Lyfechannel, explained that increased collaboration and partnership can yield the necessary advances to improve patient care. He said, “Lyfechannel believes that technology companies that partner with ‘large insiders’ and lead with patient behavior vs. cool technology have the greatest opportunity to impact health outcomes in the next 10 years. There are some great innovators that should serve as a model, and no shortage of technology innovators with limitless energy and caffeine to try and impact population health.”

Read the complete testimony and watch video of today’s hearing online here.