Innovation and Technology in the Healthcare Sector

Advances in technology enable the healthcare sector to harness the full attainability of digital health. However, the success of the union of healthcare and technology has been somewhat hindered by the lack of infrastructure to support patient data exchange and patient engagement. The goal of value-based care is only achievable when inroads have been made in the construction of viable and sustainable infrastructure to allow technology to drive healthcare trends in 2016 and beyond.

Patient’s Expectations Will Drive Consumer-based Healthcare

Medical sector change will center on patient expectations for care and delivery of care. Many technology-based healthcare services have been developed to allow patients to request on-demand medical services to their home. Companies like Teledoc and Doctor on Demand offer affordable video office visits with physicians. These technologies are rapidly changing the traditional model of patient care. These types of services are expected to boost popularity with consumers particularly when efficient models for payment start to develop around these services.

Increased Complexity of Remote Clinical Technology

In 2016, the integration of digital health will increase within the clinical care setting. As devices become more sophisticated, they will become more relevant to clinicians. Wearable devices will provide clinicians with critical data in terms of patient health by collecting biometric information. Digital therapies will also be developed and be applied by the use of ingestible and implantable devices. The development of platforms and applications will also enable patients to track their health trends and health risks.

Address Challenges with Data Access and Interoperability

The healthcare sector must invest in building infrastructure to connect systems and technology in such a way to overcome major interoperability barriers. Spending and investment will increase this year. Kaiser Permanente invested four billion dollars in its HealthConnect platform to provide its clinicians and ten million patients real-time access to their medical records, mobile applications and virtual services.

In his article ‘The Wireless Revolution Hits Medicine’ Ron Winslow (2013) discussed the coming digitization of healthcare with Dr. Eric Topol who succinctly suggests the medical world has resisted digital infrastructure to a fault. It has not embraced genomics, wireless biosensors or technological advances that could help make medicine more accurate. The medical world has been operating on a different plane than the digital world and that boundary must be removed.