What comes to mind when you hear the words innovation and technology? For me it’s flying cars, floating skyscrapers, and spaceships; how cool would that be to look down over Mars as you fly by in your Spacebender 3000? We have now reached the year 2019 and still don’t have the flying cars we remember from the Jetson cartoons, but never fear, I’m sure Elon Musk is working on this (unless Richard Branson gets to it first). Although we are not yet star trekking through the atmosphere in our private spaceships, we are making tremendous advancements in the healthcare industry. New ideas, new technologies, some great, some just for fun, but all leading to better programs for employers and their employees. Why is such advancement important to us? It is important because the costs of healthcare are projected to reach $8.7 trillion dollars by the year 2020…Yes, I said $8.7 trillion. Not to mention, the current healthcare inflation rate is right around 6.5% annually which is more than 3 times that of the U.S inflation rate of 2% – don’t you think this is a problem worth solving? I would imagine so, and if you think the increases outlined above are not going to be directly reflected in our insurance premiums, then you’re just as naive as I was when I thought I would be driving a flying car at the age of 16.
Lucky for us it is the year 2019 and innovators are using new technology solutions to help soften the risk of high healthcare prices and premium rate increases in the most creative ways. Recently there was no better place to be as an innovator than at the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA), CES 2019 annual showcase. This event is one of the largest technology conferences in the world and has been taking over the Las Vegas strip for years; it serves as a proving ground for innovators in the business of consumer technologies. This year the WSJ reported that there were 511 companies that represented the digital health sector, up from 472 last year. Featured products included wearables that track blood pressure and heart rhythms, as well as home sperm fertility tests, making home health technology a significant topic of conversation. What better way to cut healthcare costs then to have consumers do blood tests and health monitoring in the comfort of their own home, eliminating the need for an outrageously expensive office visit where we have no idea what we are being charged for.