Health IT Trends In 2020: Some Thoughts From Leaders

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Vidya Murthy, VPO, MedCrypt

5G is on its way, promising high-speed internet access to everyone, everywhere. But how will increased connectivity impact overall security? Cybersecurity companies in the healthcare industry are working to effectively secure hospital networks and medical devices against hacks and vulnerabilities, but as technology like 5G becomes ubiquitous, more and more devices will have additional — and often unnecessary — connectivity features, thus creating more potential for vulnerabilities and breaches. Taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity is the solution we need to see more of in 2020.

Nate Spoden, co-founder and COO, MedPilot 

In 2020, I expect there to be a significant push on price transparency to help patients (and providers) align more on the actual cost of services. This will help patients know what they are getting into before services are rendered and help providers secure payment prior to any procedures being performed. There has been an upward trend on this in the urgent care space, but I expect there to be an major expansion in 2020 with many other types of healthcare providers.

The tools available in the market, which will gain great adoption in 2020, will help to not only estimate costs, but will also help provide financing options for patients. These financing options often come with high interest rates, but give patients the ability to get the services they need today. With high deductible health plans continue to gain market share, patient out of pocket costs will continue to rise in 2020. Healthcare providers can no longer afford to wait for these funds after the fact, as patients take longer than the average insurance company to pay their bill.

Therefore, providers will be eager to secure payment before services are rendered in an effort to combat this new challenge they haven’t dealt with until recent years. With higher patient responsibility these healthcare providers have seen higher bad debt write-offs than ever before. The struggle providers are facing as more and more patients can’t afford to pay their bills is battling the thought of sending patients to collections and/or firing patients from their practice.

In 2020, providers are going to have to set stricter guidelines, collect more money at the point of service, offer financing options, and give greater financial transparency to patients (and themselves) before providing services. This opportunity is ripe for more healthcare technology companies to come in with price transparency and financing technology, coupled with patient engagement tools. These tools will help providers both engage patients and secure a form of payment to limit write-offs and increase collections.

Without this, we will continue to see more patients turned over to debt collections and even more patients filing for bankruptcy, due to their healthcare care costs getting out of hand. Healthcare technology companies in this space can help alleviate this issue and reduce the burden to both healthcare providers and patients.

Terrence Ryan, CEO, HealthChampion

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data Solutions – platforms that aggregate large amounts of patient data, like EHRs/EMRs, will continue to partner with leading AI companies to combine the massive amounts of patient data with other analytics and capabilities to help monitor and treat populations. Digital health management will expand beyond chronic disease management to become a mainstay in the general population.

People will continue to adopt the right technology for their health goals and use digital health management to navigate their healthcare journey. Femtech will continue to expand aggressively as the female population looks to help manage every aspect of their health with both in-person and digital resources.

Nicole Hovey, marketing strategist, BestNotes

The most important Health IT development has been the advancement in interoperability. In healthcare information technology (IT), “interoperability” is when different systems, software, or devices can communicate and share information regarding patient’s health information. This lets providers exchange data easily, potentially improving care.

The Health Information Technology for Economic & Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. HITECH allocated $19 billion for health IT, promoted EHR use, and requires some level of interoperability for EHRs to be eligible for incentive payments. With the advancement in interoperability, there has been an advance in information to providers to help patients.

Grant Geiger, CEO, EIR Healthcare 

One of the most significant rising trends in the healthcare industry is the shift towards convenient, patient-centric treatments and facilities. From in-home operations, to customizable care options, patient-centric healthcare is taking over, and for good reason. Micro-hospitals are the latest development in this realm, with the goal of delivering pre-acute care beyond a typical clinic or urgent care. Micro-hospitals are a fraction of the size of traditional hospitals bringing a wider array of services and patient-centric care to communities where there isn’t enough demand for traditional hospitals.

Pranam Ben, founder and CEO, The Garage

Amid the uncertainty in healthcare, organizations are trying to pin down the future to more effectively allocate resources and prepare for what’s to come. Given the current dynamics influencing healthcare today, there are a few trends that rise to the surface.

I believe the three key trends that will continue to shape healthcare in 2020 are: seamless interoperability, point-of-service business intelligence and advanced data analytics. While these are already topics of focus now, the current efforts as a whole are falling short. However, there are some strategies that could accelerate progress in the areas with the use of Health IT programs.

Lisa Cutter, CMO, Remote Home Check

One of the biggest disruptors in the Healthcare IT space simply put, is IoT for seniors. Integrated, non-intrusive, smart tech to monitor the elderly living in care communities is now available for admins and care teams. Keeping track of activities of daily living (ADLs) for each resident will help care staff see when there may be an issue arising before it becomes an urgent or emergent situation. And with an easy-to-use dashboard providing actionable insights, the elder care industry can transition from their current reactive care approach to a proactive one.

Furthermore, should there be an urgent or emergent situation, an immediate alert will be sent to the appropriate caregivers. For example, should a resident begin wandering at night, rather than staff not knowing until the following day, a care team can be alerted within a specified time-frame for that resident, such as 10 or 20 mins from leaving their room between bedtime hours. No need for wearables, the data collected from the smart tech tells a story about how the resident is doing in terms of their ADLs.

And should the data show a trend of starting to live a more sedentary lifestyle for example, the care team and families can address this much more quickly than when it is traditionally noticed by care staff.

Beyond IoT, predictive analytics will also be trending come 2020.

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