By Gary Palgon, VP Healthcare Solutions, Liaison Healthcare Informatics
A few weeks ago, Liaison Technologies’ CEO Bob Renner predicted some of IT trends that will likely be top of mind in 2013. One particular trend mentioned was that of vertical markets turning to the private sector to find scalable integration solutions. We’ve seen this trend firsthand in the healthcare industry. Those in the healthcare and life sciences markets are recognizing not only the importance but also the necessity for connectivity. Integration solutions provide actionable data to empower the industry and provide better quality patient care.
As we enter 2013, the healthcare industry will continue to see great emphasis on value-based care and the exchange of health information. Here are three healthcare trends and three life sciences trends to watch for in the upcoming year.
- The year of connectivity. Health systems have until 2014 to prepare for Meaningful Use 2, but many will look to implement the requirements sooner rather than later. Up until now, there has been a basic level of connectivity achieved within the ecosystems of healthcare organizations but Meaningful Use 2 requires the exchange of information with external entities. Organizations will continue to recognize the importance of implementing technology that will connect disparate information within health systems and provide better value-based care.
- A greater need for analytics. Meaningful Use 1 provided many organizations with information, but business intelligence tools that help make that information actionable is key. Access to analytics is a stepping stone for accountable care organizations (ACOs) and population health management. Only with the right information in place can providers focus on providing better quality care to their patients.
- Expectations for better patient engagement. Because consumers have such easy and immediate access to information in their everyday lives, it is critical that the healthcare industry follows suit. It literally takes them two minutes to get a full credit report today and the same should be true for health records. Mobile technologies such as apps, smart phones and tablets are providing patients with fast access to medication lists, diagnostic test results and educational resources. Patients are no longer passive players but active participants in their care coordination.
- Big Data becomes even bigger. Pharmaceutical companies that aggregate and harmonize Big Data have immediate access to information that can provide many valuable opportunities. Patient populations can be characterized so that appropriate products can be developed at a higher speed. Big Data also drives the value-based pricing methods that the industry is moving towards, ultimately redefining competition in the market.
- Enhanced collaboration with consumers. As we stand now, many pharmaceutical companies keep databases with information on the pharmacies they sell to and what drugs are needed in the market. In 2013, however, the trend will be for these companies to include information about hospitals, physicians and patients. Enhancing the collaboration with these newly included consumers will be a strategic back office move for pharmaceutical companies, but the benefits will be mutually beneficial for health systems and patients as well.
- Easier access to data for secondary use. Partner data between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organizations can be used to greatly enhance care coordination. As healthcare organizations continue to move toward electronic health records, they will propel the trend of sharing such information with pharmaceutical companies. These pharmaceutical companies can, in turn, use this information to improve clinical trials and to spend appropriate research and development dollars on new drugs that are needed. Secondary use of such information will not only increase speed-to-market time but also long-term value.
What are some of the trends you foresee for healthcare and life sciences in 2013?