After a long, cold, winter, the melting snow and warmer weather means spring is finally here. The health IT industry has been busy this past winter with the HIMSS17 conference and the stalling of the GOP health care bill, to name a few. At HIMSS, healthcare leaders were busy discussing machine learning, analytics and population health and sharing new technologies aimed at improving patient care. After the GOP healthcare bill was pulled amid widespread reports that they did not have enough votes to pass it, Republicans say repealing the ACA is back on the agenda, adding to the uncertainty that has faced the industry under the new administration. To kick off the new season, here are a few of the trends that we are keeping an eye out for:
- Precision Medicine – Despite concerns regarding the overall effectiveness of interoperability and big data, a survey by NEJM Catalyst Insights Report found that precision medicine data will have a major influence on the industry in the coming years. This new approach to treatment will be used to eliminate medication errors, improve care, treat disease and help provide feedback for physicians.
- Leveraging Big Data to Solve Population Health Issues - The future of healthcare lies in data but its application is constantly shifting. With the data generated from EHRs and wearables, organizations are faced with growing amounts of useful insight, that in many cases will go unleveraged due to silos or a lack of analytics tools. Throughout the winter, we saw how communities are leveraging data to tackle the opioid crisis, pathologists are using it to detect breast cancer and providers are using it to reduce waste. We will be keeping an eye out to see how organizations will continue to leverage big data to draw insights and uncover new tools.
- Industry Consolidation & Collaboration - Despite Aetna and Humana terminating their expected merger deal following a U.S. District Court Judge’s ruling against it, many health IT experts believe that consolidation will continue across the industry. Mergers, although reducing competition, can increase efficiency and payment reforms, improve quality and reduce cost. Collaboration between both payers and providers will also be a priority as open data sharing will continue to push value-based care forward. Our whitepaper, Enabling Payer and Provider Collaboration in the Journey Toward Quality Care, shares insight on how payers and providers can better work together to achieve their quality goals as they transition to value-based care.
- Expansion of delivery options to meet consumer demand – Although research revealed that telehealth is not as cost effective as it claimed to be, payers and providers alike will continue to expand their delivery options to meet consumer demand. A survey from HIMSS17 found that patient engagement is top of mind but more needs to be done to encourage their participation. From online patient portals to increased access to physicians outside of the office, putting the consumer at ease when it comes to healthcare delivery will continue to be a major focus.
We expect this spring to be filled with warmer weather and growing applications for big data, especially related to precision medicine and population health. The industry will continue to consolidate and collaborate as healthcare organizations transition to value-based care, and finding additional ways to engage the patient in healthcare delivery, will be top of mind.
The healthcare industry is transforming daily with new technologies, new approaches and new ways to improve patient care. For strategies on helping your organization stay relevant during changing times, check out our latest whitepaper, Harnessing Enterprise Data Analytics for the New Healthcare Economy, here. To learn more about how we can help you succeed, access our solution offerings here.