Creating popular applications and marketing them direct to consumers is relatively easy. Creating healthcare apps and marketing them directly to patients with specific conditions or health concerns poses a few more challenges.
But there's nothing easy about developing technology products for healthcare organizations—in fact, there's a whole long list of barriers standing in the way of innovation.
Some of the country's most innovative healthcare organizations—including nine that are part of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's Beacon Community Program—networked and shared ideas in San Francisco on Sunday with startups and entrepreneurs who are trying to develop the software, platforms, devices, and other products that will help solve challenges from getting patients more engaged in their healthcare to improving clinical quality.
The Sunday event, a kickoff to the fifth annual Health 2.0 conference, included sessions on patient engagement, connected doctors, legal issues, and more. New this year was an "Innovation Exchange," a half-day meeting between nine Beacon communities and a room full of developers held in collaboration with the ONC's Beacon Community Program.
The Beacon Communities at the event represent a significant opportunity for developers: They have an average of about $15 million each in total ONC funding over three years. And while most projects are already underway, some Beacons are considering additional consumer eHealth technology, conference organizers noted.