Healthcare Trends: Predictions for 2013

There is no doubt that 2012 was a great year.

South Korean music star, PSY, broke world records with his pop single “Gangnam Style”. Kate Middleton and Prince William announced they are expecting their first child. Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time at the London Olympics. And…oh yeah, healthcare is finally catching up to the rest of the world when it comes to technology.

The inevitable adoption of new technologies in the medical world has led to many changes in the structure of the healthcare system as a whole. These transformative advancements have only scratched the surface of their potential in medicine. What will we see as healthcare reaches the pinnacle of technology reform? Keep reading to find out our predictions for 2013.

More Mobile Devices

Tablets, tablets, tablets. If we were handing out superlatives for technological devices, we would probably have to grant tablets “life of the party”. That is all anyone talks about these days, and for good reason. iPads are finding their way into medical facilities everywhere and are quickly proving their worth. Doctors love them because they can make assessments from the comforts of home with a mobile viewer. Patients love them because they are transportable and allow physicians to explain procedures with great visual aids. Not to mention tablet devices are a driving force behind the concept of BYOD – “Bring Your Own Device”.

Tech savvy entrepreneurs are not missing a beat either. Already, there have been thousands of medical apps released, and that number is sure to increase over the coming year. With a growing number of medical apps, doctors can more readily monitor patient health. Body sensors, for example, can link to an app so that doctors can observe individuals’ diets and exercise regimens, facilitating preventative care more readily. Tablets are making the health industry “less about place and more about space”. This trend is sure to continue in 2013.

Stronger Push for One Core System Replacement

It is no secret that medical facilities across the country have difficultly communicating and collaborating on patient cases. The New Year will surely bring a greater push for a stronger network of hospital systems worldwide. Silos need to be broken down, and the exchange of information needs to happen in a more efficient manner. Patients and medical staff will be exposed to more electronics and less paper. Replacement systems will also allow good disaster recovery efforts and better business continuity. They are sure to be user friendly and intuitive so that even the most technologically resistant individuals can become a part of the connected medical world. As is always a concern in healthcare, there will be a big focus on ensuring the information is exchanged securely and satisfies all HIPAA requirements. The medical industry is sure to seem less expansive with easy communication and collaboration avenues in the upcoming year.

Predictive Analytics will Recognize Trends

Currently, healthcare is reactive. An individual gets sick, and the doctor does everything in his/her power to make the patient better. Predictive analytics however, can transform medicine into more of a proactive field. The healthcare industry has massive amounts of data. What is the best thing to do with data? Analyze it, of course. By analyzing data and noting trends from the accumulated information, we can focus our development of care. It will not only allow us to determine patterns within an individual’s lifetime, it also gives great insight into the health of a population as a whole. As mentioned before, body sensors will be more and more prevalent in the medical world. These sensors can help with analytics by easily creating datasets for patients. It may be that predictive analytics will soon drive personalized medicine.

Patient Interest in Storing Medical Information

Whether you like it or not, technology is here to stay. More and more people are realizing this and are becoming more accepting of the latest digital trends. One trend we foresee in 2013: patients taking control of their health data. We think individuals will become more interested in storing medical information and images in the cloud to compile one, comprehensive health record. This will allow an easy transmission of data should the individual change healthcare providers, or seek a second opinion. Mobile access, through the cloud, will encourage patients to take more responsibility for their healthcare management. The technology will also facilitate doctor-patient interactions saving time, money, and the headaches associated with collecting vast amounts of information. Through the adoption of new technologies like this one, consumers are going to be dictating the trends and buying decisions in the medical world.

There you have it folks, DICOM Grid’s predictions for 2013. If you want to see how DG is at the forefront of these emerging trends, request a demo. May it be a sweet, happy, and healthy New Year for all!

Catherine Slotnick, Marketing Manager

About Catherine Slotnick

Catherine Slotnick is a passionate healthcare marketer with a deep interest in the latest & greatest in the Health IT space. As Ambra Health's Director of Marketing, Catherine primarily focuses on creating and sharing thought leadership content in the radiology and informatics space. Catherine graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Psychology & Art History. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking and petting dogs that aren't hers.

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