As 2014 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on how healthcare IT has evolved over the past year. It was predicted to be the year of the wearable, and there has been many developments involving mHealth for both consumers and providers. As far as interoperability goes, at this point many providers have switched to some form of EHR, and many have worked all year to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements. This year health IT began looking beyond the simple collection of data to considering how to manage and utilize big data in healthcare. There is much to discuss regarding what might be coming next in 2015. So, what’s around the corner? Below are three trends that will continue to be center stage.
The Importance of Data Security
Making sure that data is secure and protected will be much discussed in the coming year. As more and more providers transition to digital records, the amount of personal health information available electronically is on the rise. For this reason, in 2015 it will be essential to make sure that files are secure and security risks are minimized. As providers continue to adopt cloud computing strategies, managing the data and its security in the cloud will be a growing topic to watch, too.
Increased Transparency of Imaging
In 2014 it was expected that there would be a trend of moving away from traditional PACS in favor of vendor neutral archiving. As this trend continues, enterprise imaging using software systems and a VNA will become even more common in order to create “anywhere image accessibility.” With these solutions, images will no longer be tied to incompatible storage systems, and the management process will become more of an IT responsibility.
mHealth & Wearables
While 2014 was supposed to be the year of the wearable, it did not entirely live up to expectations. For the technology to be pushed mainstream, some kinks need to be ironed out in terms of accuracy and aesthetics. Taking this past year as a learning experience, 2015 will bring wearable technology that is able to seamlessly integrate into people’s lives and compile individualized health data that can be useful to both patient and provider. Strictly speaking about mHealth regarding the use of smartphones and tablets, health apps are already being used in ways they never have before. To tap into the complete mHealth potential, focus will be placed on integrating apps and wearables into practitioners workflow so mobile can become an invaluable part of healthcare.
We can only imagine what’s in store, and how technology will attempt to disrupt and simplify healthcare in the coming months. What technologies are helping to improve interoperability and increase patient-centric care at your organization?