Healthcare Information and Management Systems has released its annual report looking at the industry’s trends for 2019. The report covers four key elements that providers will see throughout the year. If you guessed that this year’s healthcare trends would revolve around technology and consumers, you’re right. Trend predictions for 2019 include: digital health implications and applications, consumer impact, financial and demographic challenges and issues around data governance and policy. This two-part series will take a closer look at each of these areas.

Digital Health Implications and Applications: It’s no secret that technology has been a hot button topic for healthcare providers. With the rise of digital services like telemedicine, artificial intelligence, and blockchain, organizations are looking for ways to continue advancing. But, the report shows that those working to innovate digital health will have to provide more concrete results. HIMSS reveals that, “Digital health tools will need to answer for the way technology will increase access to care and narrow gaps in care and coverage.” We will begin to see digital tools move from the testing phase onto the market phase. The report also pinpoints five specific applications that will help advance the industry: adoption of AI, use of VR in chronic pain treatment, wearable and implantable health devices, digital therapeutics, and use of voice recognition.  

Consumer Impact: The demand for better access to patient-centered care will take center stage this year. Consumers want providers that offer “convenience, choice and, most importantly, cost transparency.” Healthcare systems will need to develop with the customer in mind. So what does this look like? Consumer-oriented technology will come into play as healthcare providers seek to integrate value-based health. Providers will also invest in tools that will support this idea; this includes telehealth and precision medicine. The adoption of supply chain capabilities that understand consumption patterns and genomic diagnostics will also play a huge role in consumer impact.  

Technology and consumer impact drives healthcare strategies and are crucial in the industry today. By providing consumer-focused tools, providers can offer services that put the patient first. In the next part of this series, we will evaluate financial and demographic challenges, as well as, issues around data governance and policy.