2018 is quickly approaching: Top 4 health IT trends

By Jessica Beard on December 6th, 2017

It’s that time of year again! If you’re anything like me, you’re juggling holiday shopping and celebrations with work, family and friends. Whether in your personal life or at the office, you may also be reflecting on how fast the year has gone by and what’s changed – and anticipating what’s to come in the year ahead.

In the health IT world, there’s some pretty exciting happenings in store for 2018. Ready or not, here are the top 4 health IT trends to watch out for:

1. Data, data and more data. Healthcare data is growing faster than any other industry, especially as new technology arises. Digital mobile engagement is increasing as patients report more data through mobile and other personal devices and are interested in capturing that information. Providers are then able to access the patient information to use in their care plans. The good news for 2018 is more patients, providers and organizations will be using this data for even more improvements. For example, by 2019, more than 50 percent of life science and healthcare companies will be accessing, sharing and analyzing real-world data to better inform providers and patients on care. It will also be prioritized to help combat the opioid epidemic.

2. The evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT has brought many benefits to healthcare for improving patient health and safety. We’re at the cusp of IoT-enabled asset tracking and inventory management being used by hospitals to aggregate and integrate data. This holds the promise of increased operational efficiencies and staff satisfaction. Yet, at the same time IoT also brings its challenges as more connectivity to medical devices allows greater opportunity for security to be compromised. As it is, IDC’s WorldWide Healthcare IT 2017 Predictions cites ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations to double by 2018. Keep an eye out as IoT evolves in the next year.

3. Robotics and AI continue to flourish. The healthcare industry has started using robotics and other artificial intelligence to automate and improve existing processes, typically more on the supply chain side. So much that by 2021, 20 percent of healthcare and 40 percent of life sciences will have achieved 15-20 percent productivity improvement through AI technology. But this is just the beginning as new technology emerges, we’ll soon see increased adoption for clinical uses tied to improved productivity and patient safety.

4. Healthcare services from anywhere. Growing in popularity and affordability, digital healthcare services – like telehealth and patient engagement technologies – will continue to provide more patients with convenient access to care. The consumer patient is only becoming more expectant on the type of care they’re given and things we’ve talked about above, such as IoT with medical devices and AI, will help support this personalized way of care for years to come.

What’s top of mind for you as we go into the new year?

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