Digital Health Trends with Promise

In an industry inundated with technology woes and hurdles to overcome, these digital healthcare trends actually have me optimistic about the future of healthcare.

Data Transparency
Transparency in healthcare is dialing up incrementally, albeit in unexpected places. While I do appreciate things like the government’s recent release of physician payment data, I’m eager for the looming, bigger glimpse behind healthcare’s curtain, which will undoubtedly become easier and easier to pull back in its new digital design.

Imagine, for example, the competitive market potential that will emerge when the pricing transparency demands of a patient population with evolving options are inevitably met. That game-changer will be a slow and hard-fought battle on behalf of patients, but it will also be a key catalyst in advancing innovation in healthcare as providers look for new ways to retain patients.

The Mobile Firestorm
mHealth is poised for explosive growth. The broad reach of the mobile market makes it an incontestable platform for cross-navigating patient data from a variety of settings. I’m not the first person waiting in line for Apple releases, but there is something to be said for the integration potential that the brand brings to healthcare with its recent HealthKit release.

Mobile represents universal, real-time HIT potential for providers at the point of care and offers convenience to engaged patients. The rising class of mobile-savvy developers that will soon come up in the ranks will be the first always-mobile generation modern workforces have seen, and there is ample opportunity for them within the healthcare arena.

Digital Asset Security
Given healthcare’s general tendency to home-grow everything within-industry (which is understandable to an extent, with unique considerations like HIPAA in play), there is also ample opportunity for innovation in digital asset security and building an effective digital process around patient consent in the easy exchange of that data.

Demonstrating data security is a key point in establishing both provider and patient buy-in to electronic health trends and it’s in healthcare’s best interest to spend the time and money required to get it right. I can’t help but think the companies that make this the priority rather than an after-thought will fare best.

Real Time Analytics
Considering all that is already on healthcare’s plate, I don’t expect to see hospitals dedicating man hours to digitizing archived episodes of care anytime soon, but I do know that everything that is digitally documented as of roll-out will hold great potential for real-time health monitoring and trending from here on out.

Fifteen years of research experience tell me that data analysts may well become the most sought-after resources by healthcare organizations hoping to frame data sets and cull meaningful insights. Population health initiatives will yield a legion of new analyst talent seeing the healthcare industry through fresh, new eyes.

The human race is busy indexing everything. It will be interesting to see what this new, digitized perspective will reveal in healthcare and just what else we’ll end up doing in light of it.