It’s almost impossible to even begin to predict where Healthcare Information Technology (IT) will be next month, let alone by 2020. That said, there are some real trends that are going to be unavoidable. The reality is that adoption of these technologies after they have reached maturity will likely mean that we are constantly working in a state of obsolescence.
So, that comes to the theme of all of our Healthcare IT 2020
predictions: Healthcare IT will be Real Time.
What does that mean?
It means that by and large, patients with chronic conditions won’t have to “go in” for testing anywhere anymore, the patients, the doctors and their support teams of Evaluators (we’ll get to that later) will always be plugged into the patient’s vitals. Much the way that wearable technologies (like FitBits) monitor physical activity, in the future some form of technology (whether or not it will be wearable is up for discussion) will constantly monitor everything from blood pressure to blood sugar, from the immune system to digestive flora, from brain activity to bone density. As human health is increasingly protected in real-time, the shift will be increasingly to preventative care and maintenance of strong “normal” Real Time vitals.
The shift in Healthcare Technology will extend to Hospitals, Clinics, and Solo-Practice as well where consultative notes, referrals, tests and prescriptions are also handled Real Time as well. This means that doctors will have access to all the Personal Health Records necessary (along with the Real Time underlying Data) to assess and treat patients contemporaneously. No longer will they need to spend time “working up” a patient history, instead they can spend their time focussed entirely on value-added areas such as assessment and treatment.
Data-driven Healthcare will be the norm. This means that the analysis of large datasets (with 100s of thousands let alone millions of records) will form an increasingly large part of Healthcare IT. It will help doctors and patients alike make decisions to positively impact their health. It will truly and dramatically improve the speed and predictability of practices. It will create the possibility for truly personalized Healthcare by allowing providers to impact the biggest markers of health, including everything from behaviors to environmental effects.
The best part? With the exponential growth in Healthcare IT ... there’s a chance that these predictions will be outpaced by reality!