In 2017, worldwide healthcare IT market grew steadily despite cost pressure and political uncertainty. Many enterprises leveraged latest digital technologies to provide remote and mobile healthcare services in an efficient and timely way. At the same time, the new healthcare applications and solutions introduced by various startups even made it easier for medical practitioners to provide mhealth and telehealth services to patients regardless of their current geographic locations. But the rapid advancement in digital technologies has made some of the hottest healthcare IT trends of 2017 obsolete. The healthcare service providers must adopt new healthcare IT trends in 2018 to stay relevant and competitive in the short run.
7 Trends that will Shape Healthcare IT Industry in 2018
1) Blockchain-based Healthcare Solutions
Within a short amount of time, Blockchain technology has already transformed several sectors. Many healthcare service providers already leverage Blockchain to store electronic medical records in a distributed, unalterable, and secure way. But the providers have to address a number of challenges to use Blockchain to boost health information exchanges. The tech companies and startups have been introducing new applications and solutions to facilitate health information exchange through Blockchain. In 2018, most providers will take advantage of Blockchain-based healthcare solutions to accelerate health information exchange.
2) Artificial Intelligence Technologies
Like Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies – deep learning, machine learning and workflow automation – also have the potential transform delivery of specialty tele-health service. AI will further help the clinicians and physicians to take leverage real-time healthcare information of patients collected from various sources. The providers can even create custom healthcare solutions by integrating AI and analytics to automate repetitive tasks and improve workflow in radiology and similar specialties. The professionals can use their experience and expertise to add human touch to the AI technologies and apply AI to the entire workflow. However, the providers still need to build robust infrastructure to operate the AI-driven healthcare applications and solutions.
3) Cloud Migration
Enterprises from various sectors nowadays opt for cloud technologies to eliminate cost of building and maintaining on-premise IT infrastructure. Many healthcare service providers already use cloud services to make health information accessible, manage health data, and curtail IT expenses. In 2018, many healthcare providers will leverage cloud technologies to create a unified and virtual health data repository. The unified data repository will enable various physicians and specialists to access the required healthcare information about a single patient seamlessly. At the same time, the cloud-based repository will further optimize integration and compendium of health information from various sourced and in varied formats. Interested readers can read more on impact of cloud and big data on healthcare sector.
4) Next Generation EHR Systems
A large percentage of healthcare service providers have already invested in electronic health record (EHR) systems. In 2018, the providers will take advantage of EHR systems to accelerate healthcare service delivery and generate revenue. However, they must upgrade their existing EHR systems to facilitate collection and exchange of real-time health data. Also, the next-generation EHR systems will make it easier for providers to address common issues in claim processing. The systems will enable providers to document or schedule specific services by sending authorization request to patients. To remain relevant, enterprises should opt for custom EHR software development which can cater to the needs of their target customers.
5) Precision Medicine
No hospital or clinic can provide managed and preventive healthcare to patients efficiently and timely without facilitating constant interaction between physicians and patients. They even need to involve patients in treatment and care to customize health regime based on real-time health information. At the same time, the providers need to enable patients to purchase personalized and precision medicine solutions in 2018. A number of studies suggest that many patients switch from conventional healthcare solutions to avoid one-size-fits-all diagnosis and therapies. The providers must allow each patient to avail personalized and precision medicine solutions to generate revenue and remain profitable.
6) Proactive Security
AI and analytics will help providers to accelerate remote healthcare delivery based on real-time health information. But the providers cannot provide high quality remote healthcare without keeping the health data secure in store and transit. A number of studies suggest that hackers will try to access and manipulate health data in 2018 through more sophisticated malware and ransonmware. The existing security tools and mechanisms used by healthcare service providers may not detect and combat these sophisticated malware and ransonmware. That is why; the providers have to explore ways to prevent data breaches and targeted malware attacks instead of responding to security events. They must leverage AI and machine learning to keep health data secure despite new malware and ransomware attacks.
7) Interoperability and Coordination
While adopting healthcare applications and solutions, providers have to address a key issue – interoperability. The growing government and industry pressure will compel healthcare IT service providers to emphasize on interoperability and facilitate coordination. The IT service providers will be required to create new applications and upgrade existing applications to facilitate coordination between healthcare providers, pharma companies, and patients. At the same time, they have to explore ways to make the legacy and latest healthcare systems and solution interoperate each other. Likewise, the healthcare IT service providers have to upgrade their solutions to support multiple data formats and boost information exchange.
On the whole, the healthcare IT trends keep changing from time to time. There are also a number of external and internal factors that create new healthcare IT trends. Likewise, the disruptive digital technologies even create new healthcare IT trends suddenly and unexpectedly. Hence, the healthcare service providers must monitor and adopt the emerging healthcare IT trends in 2018 to provide better healthcare services remotely, timely, and efficiently.
At Mindfire Solutions, we provide custom healthcare application development services to our esteemed clients since more than 10 years now. Talk to us, and we’ll help you push your idea to the real world!