Emerging technologies are slowly but surely beginning to define the way healthcare will be delivered in future. Updates from the Health 2.0 conference in Santa Clara last week point to interesting approaches to data as well interesting use cases with new technologies.

Here are a couple worth pondering over:

– Google’s Verily considers the human body to be the ultimate untapped source of healthcare data, and plans to tap into it the way we use sensors and communication devices from cars to read the overall health of the vehicle.

– The use of AI-driven chatbots will transform the way patients and providers will use normal speech and text to interact with healthcare information technology. Call it the coming age of user interfaces without interfaces.

All this may sound a bit futuristic but the future may be closer than we think.

VC funding data published recently points to another blockbuster year for digital health, although the subtext indicates that new funding is primarily going to later rounds for established companies. The one bright spot is the growing share of women-led startups, especially for digital health solutions addressing women’s health issues.

What could dampen the spirits? Some of the technologies, such as blockchain, are unproven at commercial scale, lack standards, and could be costly to implement. Emerging business and revenue models could also run into trouble, as we learn from the case of hot startup Outcome Health that has relied on providing assured returns as a means to drive adoption.

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