With this post we provide insights into three key healthcare trends to watch:
1. Impending Meaningful Use Stage 2 Deadline
The federal government introduced requirements for "meaningful use" attestation in the use of electronic health care records. Rules are rolled out in stages, with the next rollout being stage 2. The deadline for Meaningful Use Stage 2 is still at least a year away but most healthcare providers will need to do a lot of work before they’ll be ready. From implementing computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and e-prescribing (e-Rx) to providing patients online access to records, providers will be implementing many new tools this year. While a substantial share of the changes will be made by certified EHR vendors, hospitals and providers will still need to succesffully institutionalize and operationalize these new requirements. Providing patients with online access to their electronic health records, facilitating the transmission of health data to third parties, and ensuring secure communications may be some of the more difficult changes to implement.
2. Healthcare Analytics & Big Data
Over the last 50 years, healthcare has expanded radically. The pace of medical literature publication is verging on one million articles annually. Despite this vast of body of literature, the healthcare system lacks evidence for what works. As medical publishing continues at an unheard pace, new types and sources of health care data are quickly becoming available (from federally incentivized EHR adoption and innovations including PatientsLikeMe) and adding exponentially to the volumes of data being produced annually. The era of Big Data in healthcare is here.
With the popularity of data from body sensors and devices (AgaMatrix, Scanadu, Fitbit, Zeo) and decreases in the cost of genetic sequencing (23andMe and Life Technologies), analytics (Apixio and Humedica) are poised to emerge as a tool to offer actionable information to healthcare providers (“intelligent healthcare”). Beyond real-time analysis of body sensors and genomics/personalized medicine, data scientists have the opportunity to impact many different areas of healthcare. Big data analysis could improve point of care decisions, reduce hospital readmissions, and enhance population health management. We also see significant use of capabilities from Cloudera, including their CDH and new Impala, and also management tools for making all of that enterprise ready in healthcare. There are also many use cases for capabilities from MarkLogic and Cleversafe and many other firms in this space.
3. Tablet Usage by Clinicians
The iPad Mini and Nexus 7 are just about the perfect size to be used by healthcare providers. Now that these new tablets can easily fit into lab coats, we may see a much larger percentage of providers using these devices. Although the right form is essential for device acceptance, it remains to be seen how satisfied providers will be with these conveniently-sized tablets. Widespread adoption will depend on a number of factors within the user experience. How well will providers be able to view images, see lab results, and input orders on these mini tablets? The longterm success of tablets in healthcare depend on these answers.