Health tech trends for 2017

apps, wearables

Connectivity is one of the top tech trends in healthcare technology right now, according to a piece in Tech.Co: Tech Start-up News, Events & Resources this month. The article references a HIMSS 2016 survey which found that 52% of US hospitals were using three or more connected health technologies, “which is great for improving communication, but can pose concerns for the safety of confidential information”, said its author, Tim Cannon.

Cannon, of free job search resource, HealthIT, singled out data integration, big data and personalised medicine as key healthcare tech trends for 2017. Speaking of the first, he said:  “Consolidating and integrating data simplifies processes. Health monitoring with mobile apps and other platforms will provide holistic views of health in real-time, and they are gaining popularity. This can have a positive impact on patient engagement by seeing the effects of their lifestyle choices more immediately. It will also result in better patient care when healthcare professionals can analyse all this data collectively.”

Personalisation: ‘A positive impact on ROI’

Another trend that Cannon suggested would continue was that of personalised healthcare - with the “enthusiasm around wearables, trackers and remote monitoring” set to continue. He spoke of “the enormous potential for device data to impact the delivery of care that benefits both the patient and the provider” and quoted an Accenture report from 2015 which found that 73% of executives recognised a positive impact on ROI from personalisation technology.

Big data, too, was, rather unsurprisingly, cited as a tech trend for 2017 in the report. “Healthcare technology allows us to track and store every detail of a patient’s experience, and as a result, the volume of data is increasing rapidly,” said Cannon. “The 2015 Accenture report found that 41 percent of executives say their data has grown more than 50 percent over one year. The growth on the clinical side indicates a higher demand from everyone — 52 percent of patients want access to EMR data related to physicians’ notes.”

Integration: ‘Still a pipe dream’

The demand for data continues to grow because the industry is realising the true value of data, said Cannon. “In the future, patients will be able to upload a picture to a device that will triage the issue using analytics, promising split-second diagnoses, and accurate care. Patients will be able to have personalised protocols and access to their health information in real-time as long as they’re connected.

“While this ideal future that promises smooth integration, quick access, personalised treatment, and intelligent preventative care practices is thrilling to conceive, it’s still a pipe dream. The size of the big data impact is immeasurable, and it requires a large investment of time and resources in figuring out how IT experts can manage, store, and safely transmit all this data,” concluded Cannon.

Read the piece in full here – Healthcare technology trends to watch out for