10 Health IT predictions for 2018: Al, blockchain, robotics and a $100 million class-action suit

Emerging technologies will start to gain some firmer footing in the year ahead, moving out of pilot testing and into production environments.
By Bill Siwicki
05:26 PM
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10 Health IT predictions for 2018

By the end of 2020, 25 percent of data used in medical care will be collected and shared with health systems by the patients themselves. In the same timeframe, adoption rates of IoT-enabled asset tracking and inventory management systems in hospitals will have doubled worldwide, improving patient safety, staff satisfaction and operational efficiency.

These are just two predictions from the new report “Worldwide Health Industry 2018 Predictions” from research and consulting firm IDC Health Insights.

Here’s the list:

Prediction 1: Dedicated resources for analytics

By 2019, about half of all healthcare companies will have resources dedicated to accessing, sharing, and analyzing real-world evidence for use across their organizations.

Prediction 2: Mobile engagement

Mobile engagement among life science companies, patients, and providers will have increased 50 percent by 2019, improving clinical trial recruitment and medication adherence.

Prediction 3: Increase in IoT-enabled inventory and tracking

By 2020, adoption rates of IoT-enabled device tracking and management of these systems will have doubled worldwide, improving patient safety, staff satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Prediction 4: Patients sharing data

By the end of 2020, 25% of data used in healthcare will be collected and shared with systems by the patients themselves.

Prediction 5: Robot implementation in large hospitals

By 2020, one in four large hospitals will have deployed robotics to handle time-consuming tasks, reducing labor and preventing errors to assist in operations and improve patient safety.

Prediction 6: Blockchain use in operations, patient ID

By 2020, 20 percent of healthcare organizations will have moved beyond pilot projects and will be using blockchain for operations management and patient identity.

Prediction 7: AI productivity gains

By 2021, 20 percent of healthcare and 40 percent of life science organizations will have achieved 15 to 20 percent productivity gains through the adoption of cognitive/AI technology.

Prediction 8: Outsource accounting

Driven by overwhelming data management requirements, 20 percent of payer office operations will have been shifted to BPaaS contracts by 2021.

Prediction 9: Medical device failures, lawsuits

By 2021, the world will have seen its first $100 million class-action lawsuit against a medical device manufacturer for negligence due to a cyber attack causing the death of more than 25 people connected to networked medical devices while hospitalized.

Prediction 10: Digital healthcare services grow globally

By 2021, healthcare services will account for 6 percent of global healthcare expenditures.

Next Steps

Hospital executives and IT shops should understand, based on these predictions, that the healthcare industry and industries overall are fast underway in heading toward a digital economy, said Mutaz Shegewi, research director, provider IT transformation strategies, at IDC Health Insights. “Underlying our predictions is a notion that points to how the nature of the healthcare industry is changing and that important aspects like value, competitiveness, sustainability and more will rely on a healthcare organization’s ability to digitally transform and become more digitally native than others,” Shegewi said. “Whether it’s through the mastery of working with patient-generated data, blockchain , real-world evidence, etc., it will all come down to an organization’s ability to digitally transform early that will make it more than likely to thrive, than merely survive, in the future.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com