A Year of Lessons Learned in Digital Health


With all forward movement comes a stumbling block or two—a pattern we’ve witnessed aplenty in 2016. But from every stumble arises the chance to learn and evolve. Here are the top four lessons learned in the field of digital health in 2016, according to John Nosta.

Innovation vs Reality

In the heat of research it can be easy to make big leaps in search of a cutting-edge idea. But when it comes to health & medicine, 2016 taught us not to forget that the reality of patient dynamics and medical practices can be just as important as innovation itself. There is no future in innovation purely for innovation’s sake.

Leader Board

So often, big names with access to funding and connections are considered the building blocks of a company’s board of directors. However, big names don’t always equate to big ideas. Choosing a board of directors that brings experience, industry knowledge, and valuable insights can make a world of difference when launching a product or service.

The Innovation Illusion

Exciting innovation in digital health attracted plenty of attention in 2016, but not all of it good. In this industry it can often be difficult to distinguish the pseudoscience salesmen from the groundbreaking innovators. If we can’t trust the science, who can we trust?

Vacuum Packed

Sure, the occasional lone wolf will introduce the world to a novel concept and reap the rewards. However, in today’s digital health environment, progress is generally far better served by collaboration and teamwork—innovation rarely happens in a vacuum. We expect 2017 to witness advancement through the emergence of initiatives that demand collaborative efforts. As Robert Hariri (M.D., Ph.D., cofounder, Human Longevity, Celularity) told Forbes, “There comes a time in the natural progression of innovation where the alignment of the leading thinkers and initiatives can accelerate the pace and maximize the efficiency of getting to goal. For me, it’s less about an isolated startup and more about an integrated the role up as the key to building a successful company in life science industry.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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