The First Part of Our Three Part Series on Health Tech Buzzwords

Blog / The First Part of Our Three Part Series on Health Tech Buzzwords

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    Nils Widal
    Nils WidalOctober 13, 2021

    Digital Health and Cloud Platforms Advocate and Entrepreneur.

    There is no sector in the world that is more full of buzzwords than technology and software. It seems that every year we are bombarded with new terms that everyone just magically seems to know about. Big Data was perhaps one of the best examples. Beginning in 2013, it seemed that the term was everywhere and used by everyone, but no one actually seemed to know what it meant!

    The second most ‘buzzword heavy’ sector has to be healthcare where a mix of medical terms and buzzwords compete to confuse nearly any audience. So, it’s no wonder that health tech, a sector where tech and healthcare buzzwords combine, has some of the most confusing buzzwords yet! So, what are the top health tech buzzwords? What do they mean and what are the real trends you need to know about?


    Although HIPAA has been around for a while (it was signed into law in 1996) the digitalisation of health has led to a greater focus on it and new challenges for the law. At its heart, HIPAA is a data protection law focusing specifically on patient data. Importantly, HIPAA protects American Citizen’s patient data anywhere in the world, so it can throw up some challenges for European companies who inadvertently are in non-compliance, since they are processing and storing US citizen’s data without knowing it.

    Patient Access

    Patient access is a trend that’s becoming a buzzword. The shift to digital has been sold to patients in terms of ‘you will have more access and control over your medical data’. Despite this promise, many platforms have fallen short in the patient access category. To be fair, HIPAA and the need for security have put some companies in a tricky position where they want to make it easier for patients to access data but are concerned about the security risk.

    Precision Medicine

    Precision medicine encompasses various different technologies and medical approaches which share one goal: go from a one size fits all medical approach to treatments tailored to every individual patient. The confusion arises when you compare precision medicine to personalized medicine. While some use these terms interchangeably, there is a slight but important difference.

    Precision medicine doesn’t claim to offer unique treatments for each person, it actually breaks people down into categories of subsections of the population and offers a corresponding treatment. The goal of fully personalized medicine would be, as an example, a gene therapy that is 100% designed for a specific individual.

    The confusion between precision medicine and personalized medicine hints at the fact that precision medicine may simply be a buzzword, a marketing term designed to drum up interest.

    To learn more about other buzzwords in health tech, take a look at part 2 of the blog, available here!



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