Welcome to 2014! 2013 was another big year for digital health on all fronts. While widespread disruption didn’t happened in healthcare in 2013, we did see lots of great progress on technology and business fronts, and we’re starting to see more concrete evidence around new and emerging models of care, many of which rely highly on new, modern technologies. It takes time for change to take hold in an industry as large as healthcare, but talking to people inside and outside of the industry gives us the sense that we’re past the tipping point.
For a look back at 2013, check out this post on digital health trends in 2013 and this great Rock Health deck on funding trends in 2013.
We saw lots of attention on health technology in 2013 with the debacle that was the launch of Healthcare.gov. The media has taken the problems at launch and run with them, and health reform in general is taking a hit from this very public misstep. Look for this story, and the related launch of health insurance exchanges by states, to continue to unfold in 2014. So the mass media attention on health IT will continue.
And Meaningful Use continues with the rollout of Stage 2 and 3 over the next several years. Stage 2 and 3 are much more focused on patient access to data and eventually patient access to self management tools. This means that collectively health organizations, through existing and emerging health IT vendors, are going to need to spend a lot more time and effort thinking about the patient. Patient engagement is a tough nut to crack, but it’s basically required for Meaningful Use, so it’s a great bucket to bet on.
So what’s in store for digital health over the next 12 months? Let’s take a look into the crystal ball. I’ll dedicate a blog post to each of these specific trends. Look for the rest over the next few weeks.
- Apps Changing to Platforms
- More of a Focus on Niche Offerings
- Bigger Leaps to the Cloud
- Meaningful Use Continues to Challenge IT Departments
- One Size Does Not Fit All (multi-platform support)
- Patient First, Patient Centered
- Distribution is King
- Epic Continues to Rule the Roost
- Expanded View of A Person / Patient / Consumer
- APIs and Big Data
- Many More Mobile Health Device Extenders (DIY Health)
No matter how you slice it, it’s a very exciting time to be in digital health, and it’s a very excited time to be in healthcare generally with all of the changes coming to the system. It’s an industry we’ve lived in for many years and we’re more excited today than we’ve ever been before about the prospects for change coming to healthcare, changes that are powered or augmented by new technology.