In an exciting week for health care technology ex Google executive Stephanie Tilenius has launched the Digital Health app Vida aimed at helping people to manage chronic disease. Already it’s proving to be a big hit in Silicon Valley with a reported $5 million generated in the series A round (a company’s first significant round of venture funding in the Silicon Valley model of start-ups) and has sparked speculation over what’s next for health care apps across the globe.
So far Health Care and Wellbeing apps have typically focused on one thing like helping you to lose weight or monitoring your heart rates. However, these have proved to be little more than data collection apps and with more people living with numerous long term conditions such as diabetes and hypertension there is a growing market for chronic disease management technology.
While Vida does focus primarily on health coaching and preventing the development of multiple conditions it is fully integrated with Apple’s HealthKit. This allows it to draw in health care data gathered by glucose monitors, heart rate monitors, pedometers and any other piece of health tech you have linked to your smart phone. So it can be used to manage conditions and to help you reverse some of the effects, however, it’s rather expensive.
Vida was developed for the American health care market and as such doesn’t really work within the UK. The people who would most need an app which helps them to track and manage multiple long term conditions are probably the people least likely to be able to afford private health care.
However, it does recognise the growing need for combined long term morbidity care. While the coaching feature of Vida, might not appeal to all of the British public, a joint venture between health care and social care could work. Allowing patients to track medical information and maintain contact with medical professionals remotely, could be a major contributor in keeping vulnerable patients living independently in their own homes and out of hospitals and care homes.