14 predictions about the impact of technology’s growing presence in health care

February 26, 2018 by Forbes Technology Council

This article was originally published on Forbes.

Between rising care costs and ever-changing insurance regulations, it’s quite the understatement to say that health care has evolved significantly in recent years. But beyond finance and policy, there’s another big change that’s been working its way through the industry: technology.

Throughout 2017, 10 of the country’s largest tech companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Google, were involved in health care equity deals worth $2.7 billion. This is no small sum, and investments of this scale — combined with the existing technologies owned by these corporations — have the potential to permanently alter the way health care is managed, tracked and executed. Fourteen members of Forbes Technology Council offered their predictions for how the growing presence of tech will ultimately change this industry.

  1. Efficiency Will Be The Key Value Proposition For Cost Control

There is much consolidation in all segments of health care. As companies consolidate, efficiency becomes the key value proposition for cost control. IT is and will continue to be the catalyst and differentiator in this industry. Much like other mature industries, tech will be an indispensable piece of foundational operations. – Alan Dillman, Marbaloo Marketing

  1. Care Will Become More Personalized And Effective

I’m hopeful that technology will enable more personalized care so treatments are more effective. This should also make health care cheaper, as it will require fewer attempts to find an effective treatment, and health care specialists will have more data to work with to make their diagnoses. – Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket

  1. All Industry Stakeholders Will Need To Buy Into Technology

Having worked at the intersection of technology and health care for most of the past 17 years, I’ve seen countless headlines heralding technology’s disruption of health care. But it hasn’t happened. Why? Largely due to powerful professional groups, bureaucratic reimbursement policies, passive patients and risk aversion. Unless tech companies address these factors, progress will stall. – Simon SmithBenchSci

  1. What’s Broken About The Health Care System Can Be Fixed

Tech companies can disrupt what has become a broken business model and reimagine how our health care system should essentially work. It may also make more health care services more accessible to people who previously could not afford certain tests even if they had health insurance. – Chalmers BrownDue

  1. Health Care Giants Will Have The Power To Treat Millions Of Patients Better

Health care is primed for an inflection point where machine learning, the collection of biomarkers and vertically integrated health providers (Aetna/CVS) will allow health care giants to create walled gardens of millions of patients where they can have better-targeted care, monitor actual success metrics of treatment and monetize within their network just like the large social sites today. – Owen TranPoints International

  1. The Potential Cybersecurity Risks Of Health Tech Will Slow Its Adoption

Tech investments will drive innovation and improve quality of care in the health care industry, but it will also initially put more lives at risk since most health care products do not have cybersecurity designed into the product. This will slow down the adoption of innovative technology since data privacy and patient safety is weighed against the downside of the insecure health care technology. – Brian Nesmith, Arctic Wolf

  1. The Business Side Of Health Care Will Change Dramatically

Every aspect of a provider’s business is being disrupted by tech (i.e., delivering care via innovative equipment; better patient care by integrating health record systems into the infrastructure; data security to avoid the massive breaches the health care industry has seen recently). With health care’s low tech footprint, tech companies interest will only grow. – Juliette RizkallahSailPoint

  1. More Parts Of Health Care Can Be Automated

Technology adoption in health care has been slow. By getting more technology investment in health care, the cost will come down. Some of the processes can get more efficient. For example, data entry robots will eliminate the need for humans to do the mundane tasks of data entry, appointment scheduling and collecting vital signs — all of which can be automated. – Naresh SoniTsunami ARVR

  1. Technology Will Fuel Health Care Entrepreneurship

Vendors build an ecosystem around a core health care platform and then have the luxury of selecting which ones are beneficial but additive and which are well intended but not useful. This lifecycle is what fuels entrepreneurs to enter markets and take risks. Given the favorable financial and technology markets, this will accelerate over the next five years. – J. Tyler RohrerLiquidware

  1. Lives Will Be Improved With Elimination Of Diseases

As an optimist, I like to think tech’s recent interest in health care stems from a genuine desire to improve the human condition while seeing it as a massive investment opportunity secondarily. Tech’s involvement could improve the lives of millions of people around the world by better systematizing health records, automating patient care and eradicating incurable and rare diseases. – Christopher PetersenScientist.com

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  1. The Fee-For-Service Model Will Grow

We will gradually progress towards a fee-for-service, value-based results process in U.S. health care, hinged on how effective a provider is with treating a patient. This may imply testing a drug to confirm if it works in five days versus 10 days, as an example. It’s going to call for added metrics as we progress towards this, so there is likely going to be substantial demand and competitiveness. – Jeremy WilliamsVyudu

  1. Health Care Will Become About Wellness Management Rather Than Disease Management

With the emergence of IDNs, ACOs and MCOs, the focus is on overall well-being and quality of life rather than a one-time treatment. In this changing health care environment, technologies like modern data management, augmented by machine learning and artificial intelligence, will help transform health care from disease management to wellness management while guaranteeing HIPAA compliance. – Manish SoodReltio

  1. Patients Will Need To Be In Control Of Their Own Data

Not until we give fine-grained control over health care information to the patients themselves — and enfranchize them in the value created when their data is correlated with other data points from other sources — will we unlock the true potential of health care internet-of-things applications. Technology is useless until the data that gives it value is made available by the humans generating it. – John McDonald, ClearObject.com

  1. The Internet Of Things Will Integrate Into Health Care

I think we’ll see a lot more IoT devices that will impact the health care industry. Apple acquired a sleep-tracking technology firm recently and has also developed a heart study app to alert affected participants. The data collected on the Apple Watch will be used to identify irregular heart rhythms. I predict mobile apps will be developed to provide users with medical health reports. – Sanjay MalhotraClearbridge Mobile


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