Airbus on a test flight

Validation and Measuring Impact of Digital Health Apps

Does the plane fly? ✈️

During the summer lull of the pandemic, I had the chance to go to a conference attended by people who traveled to Berlin from the US and throughout Europe.

It was nice to catch up with old friends and colleagues from the digital health space.

Inevitably, validation and impact become topics of conversation.

Okay, so what? 🤨

Well, surprisingly few digital health ventures have good data for either.

This is a problem. ⚠️

A successful digital health company must be able to validate their product works, to get certification and to enter the market.

Impact then needs to be measured to establish value for patients and healthcare providers, to justify reimbursement by payers, which becomes the business.

To illustrate the point, let’s talk about airplanes. 🛩

When you build a plane, you’ll need to validate it can fly and carry passengers. This gets you into the sky, however, it doesn’t make the business.

The plane needs to make a positive impact, creating value, and that creates a business.

The impact of a plane comes from travel. Airlines buy planes so people can work, visit family, or see a new part of the world. 🏝 ☀️

The value created comes from this, the impact that these experiences and relationships have on the traveler. This is what they pay for and what makes the business. 📈 💵

Returning to digital health, many startup ventures make claims on what their product can do, lacking data to validate it works, let alone a methodology to measure.

Companies need to have parallel validation strategies and methodologies in place to measure impact. Doing these in series elongates the product development cycle, burning time and cash along the way, eroding the chances of success.

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