Five Digital Health Predictions for 2017

2016 has been a big year for healthcare IT. Between policy shifts and the adoption of new technologies, there has never been a more exciting time in healthcare. As we wrap up the year and look ahead to 2017, the team at ViiMed pulled together a few predictions about what we can expect:

1. Explosion of data will impact care delivery (for better and worse) – Connected devices, wearables, and activity trackers are creating more patient-generated data than ever. For providers, this data can help them remotely monitor patients’ trending symptoms and vitals and intervene sooner, reducing complications and hospitalizations. It can also improve clinical decision-making to drive better quality of care. On the flip side, though, data overflow can inundate physicians with too much information, diluting it in the process. Providers will need the right tools to manage this flood of data, without drowning in it.

2. Value-based care will drive adoption of tools for chronic disease management – The healthcare industry’s shift to value-based care is impacting nearly every facet of the market. As organizations become more accountable to quality outcomes across the continuum of care, many will look towards towards disease prevention and self-management as a way to keep costs down and keep patients healthy.

3. Providers will need to adapt to patients as consumers – The consumerism of patients will change the way healthcare is delivered. In today’s “on-demand” age, patients are used to accessing the information they need, when they need it, and how they need it. With the widespread adoption of mobile and cloud-based technologies, providers will need to adapt to the rise of the empowered patient with the right tools to communicate with and engage patients to maintain patient satisfaction.

4. Reporting on outcomes becomes more important than ever – Data drives everything. Healthcare organizations face intense pressure today to deliver – and prove – quality outcomes. To show return on investment, data becomes critical. Organizations will need the tools and processes in place to both measure and report on outcomes data.

5. Wellness shifts to employer responsibility – With the burden of healthcare costs often tied to employers, we will see a shifting emphasis to wellness and disease prevention. Employers will look towards programs to keep employees healthy outside the office and manage chronic diseases like diabetes, COPD, and heart failure.