STAR CUNNINGHAM'S FATHER'S FAVORITE answer to everything was, "I don't know the answer, but let's find out."
That advice has guided Cunningham throughout life. The CEO and founder of 4D Healthware created an answer for the question of how physicians can better help patients manage chronic diseases using technology.
"Healthcare as an industry has done very little to understand its consumer. That is what we have done for a living--we understand data and we understand consumers," says Cunningham.
Cunningham launched the 4D Healthware platform as a way to track chronic conditions virtually, allowing doctors to access real-time patient information and helping patients adhere to care plans. It is marketed to healthcare providers as a way to monitor patient progress through integration with more than 150 mobile apps and devices, such as activity trackers, wireless scales, and biometric sensors.
According to the CDC, chronic diseases and conditions--such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis--are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems. As of 2012, about half of all adults--117 million people--had one or more chronic health conditions. One out of four adults had two or more chronic health conditions.
Cunningham sees a way for people to manage chronic conditions using smartphones and apps in much the same way as people use fitness gadgets. "I can buy a Fitbit; a wireless scale. I can check a Bluetooth-enabled glucometer," she says.
4D's patient dashboard not only helps patients understand their care plans and track their progress, but it can provide another point of interaction with their physicians and its push notifications can offer encouragement or medication reminders.
"For the consumers, we bring it all together, that's what we do at 4D; we build this new consumer experience around the consumerization of healthcare by engaging the patients and allowing them to see health-related data in ways they never had access to before," she...