With the emphasis on accountable and value-based care, every stakeholder across the healthcare sector from payers to providers to patients is attempting to navigate new territory and relying on technology to withstand disruption.
In the year ahead, we can expect to see an insurgence in technology solutions that address patient engagement, data, and security throughout the healthcare system. Here are my top tech predictions for 2018:
1. Payers and providers will invest more in patient engagement technology.
Five years ago, most individuals went to the doctor when they did not feel well. Today, most patients have already researched their symptoms by the time they arrive at the doctor’s office, and are merely asking the physician to confirm their diagnosis and treatment options. As the trend of consumerism continues to grow and the provider role becomes more like a care partner, payers and providers will invest in developing platforms to help patients more actively monitor their health. Platforms with interfaces and design will move ahead of the competition as customer experience no longer becomes a nice-to-have, but an expectation of the patient.
2. IoT devices and wearables will grow in popularity.
In keeping with this patient engagement trend, wearables and IoT-enabled devices will become even more cost-effective and widely adopted by consumers of all ages. The use of these devices will be critical to help prevent costly acute health episodes and improve the life of chronic disease patients. As next-generation hospitals start encouraging patients to bring their own devices into the hospital room, clinicians will be armed with better knowledge through IoT-enabled apps and trackers, and patients can enjoy the comforts of home through on-demand entertainment and customizable room layouts. Healthcare equipment will require connectivity to share information across systems so patients, care teams, and insurance companies can access data. As more consumers begin monitoring their health through wearable technology, providers and payers will need to integrate this data with existing EHRs and patient profiles to gain a more holistic view of the patient and provide targeted, preventive care.