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ThoughtWire 2019 Predictions: Is the Sky the Limit for Digital Healthcare in 2019?

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Michael Monteith, CEO of ThoughtWire

Is the Sky the Limit for Digital Healthcare in 2019?

As innovation paves the way for new technology to be integrated into our daily routines, it is vital for a company to have public acceptance. According to an Accenture study, consumers are becoming increasingly more trusting of technology and innovation in the healthcare industry. As this hurdle of trust dissipates for the digital healthcare industry, providers and clinicians are able to move forward with integrating new technologies to ease patients' pain points and further improve care.

Looking ahead to 2019, here are three predictions for the digital healthcare industry to watch for:

Digital healthcare and remote monitoring become smarter, more accessible in 2019.

Access to care remains a critical challenge, especially in remote areas that lack adequate resources to provide quality medical care. In addition, with a growing aging population suffering from chronic diseases, there are increasing pressures on the healthcare system to find new ways to be more productive and efficient.

The Smart Hospital has the potential to improve quality of care, population health and increase system efficiency and reduce health care costs, through fully integrated systems and medical devices to optimize workflows and maximize information exchange. Through 2019, there will be continual need to integrate the many "siloed" systems in hospitals to be able to match up to pace to the growing patient and system demands.

In terms of remote monitoring, wearables will become more common applications in healthcare as another large source of patient data, but only on a localized delivery level with specific and targeted patient populations. Major strides in utilizing personalized health data and self-management of chronic diseases through wearables have already demonstrated the potential to increase access to care, enable a more proactive approach to providing care and prevent hospital readmissions. Receiving notifications and information at the point of care will provide more actionable insights and allow for more informed decision making that can improve the quality of care delivered. As the wearable and remote monitoring technology becomes cheaper, therefore more accessible, population health will begin coming more into the forefront putting a strong focus on primary care and preventative care.

Digital healthcare is on the cusp of capitalizing on ‘Opportunity'

Being able to analyze data and translate it into meaningful insights remains a challenge for all levels of government and organizations. While data can now be better managed through analytical tools and technologies, ensuring the quality of data is accurate is another issue.  In addition, the lack of data sharing agreements and inadequate data governance structures prevent meaningful use and organization of these insights. Despite data privacy and security concerns, data and analytics provides important opportunities for quality improvement, understanding population health, research, health system planning and management.

In 2019 and beyond, healthcare providers will use data and analytics to create a single source of truth for the hospital that can bring together all of the data that exists within their environment to not only drive operational outcomes but also better patient outcomes. It has to be both, in order to achieve the hospital of the future you need to integrate and correlate data from a variety of systems including clinical systems, building systems, IT and OT systems, and connected devices.

What's more, an interesting emerging trend is how operational data and patient data is influencing each other. Many organizations have been approaching the usage of operational data and patient data in the same manner that they have looked at all their health information systems - siloed, fragmented. This school of thought should lean more on the model of healthcare in general - the holistic view.

Digital twins will remove red tape in healthcare operations.

Organizations are starting to discover the true potential of digital twins and their ability to bring together data from, not only clinical and IT, but building systems. Furthermore, the orchestration of comprehensive operational intelligence drives additional use cases. The convergence of building system intelligence and healthcare operations will reveal additional opportunities to optimize patient flow, energy management and sustainability initiatives.

As the interplay between the physical building space and the health information systems becomes abundantly clearer, through more data and analysis, use cases that target both systems will certainly become a focus. This is because of how everyone, from operations to management to end users, will be able to not only envision the benefits, but also be able see those benefits be realized in a quicker manner - slashing the time to implementation for enhanced and optimized workflows.


About the Author


As a seasoned entrepreneur and technology executive with more than 20 years of experience serving the public and private sectors, Mike has established himself as one of Canada's leading experts in information technology for the built environment. Capable of bridging the gap between business innovation and IT, Mike is solving the challenge of integration and interoperability in healthcare and commercial real estate settings. Prior to founding ThoughtWire in 2009, Mike was a senior advisor and technology consultant, where he acquired expertise in business and enterprise strategy, IT strategy, enterprise architecture and large-scale program implementation.

Published Monday, February 04, 2019 6:57 AM by David Marshall
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