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● The Next Big Thing The Next Big Thing

of high-tech effects Culture, workfl ow changes must keep pace with product debuts. Second of two parts

Execs share 2020 vision By Rick Dana Barlow E

ven though the future in general may hold such promise for many, it may be easy to see why some in the healthcare industry remain skeptical now that the Patient Protec- tion and Aff ordable Care Act’s enactment is more than

a month old. Certainly, new technology – particularly if it improves the twin titans of patient outcomes as well as fi scal and operational effi cien- cies – turns heads and attracts attention. But the dreaminess tends to defl ate when reality sets in: Heightened regulatory scrutiny, legislative complications and the ability to pay for it all. Yet the confi nes of reality in a reforming environment don’t stifl e

ideation. In the last edition of Health Management Technology, we asked a group of healthcare information technology company execu- tives to forecast some of the technological developments healthcare organizations will use in the year 2020. T is month, the healthcare IT executives expound on how those technological developments will aff ect patients and impact the facilities that serve them.

HMT: How will predicted new technologies benefi t healthcare organizations and patients?

Gary Palgon, Vice President of Healthcare Solutions, Liaison Technologies

T e greatest barrier to success in 2020 is to change

the culture where patients feel comfortable as active par- ticipants in their health, contributing to their patient records in order to stay healthy. Many patients today are simply passive recipients of their healthcare, only contributing their personal health information to research in reaction to terminal diagnoses. But the more day-to- day information that we aggregate and analyze, through patient monitoring and real-time modeling, for example, the more healthcare organizations and providers will be able to analyze this data and make care recommendations in advance. T is will ultimately lead to better real-time decision-making. T e patient, in turn, benefi ts from having more critical healthcare data to make personalized care decisions as an active participant of the health journey.


Ed Park, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Offi cer, athenahealth

Looking out to 2020, I believe we will have fi gured out how to make information move – from physician to

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physician, physician to patient, patient to physician and everywhere in between. It will be secure, rapid and, most important, seamless. Imagine this: getting a fl u shot at the local retail clinic will be transmit- ted to your doctor, your Fitbit will let your doctor know you’ve been meeting your exercise goals and changes to your status-quo health will be measurable, trackable and shareable with your doctor instantly. Simply put, technology will give us the ability to take personal invest- ment in our health and well-being to a new level.

Pallav Sharda, M.D., Director of Product Strategy, Omnicell Inc.

Big data will enable the kind of real-time, action- able analytics that the healthcare industry has strived


for. Merging the vast hitherto-silos of clinical, claims, genomics and patient-generated data will provide a perspective that can truly transform care delivery. Providers will be able to practice evidence- based medicine and make personalized decisions based on a patient’s genetic profi le. Patients will be able to inform and engage their care team in a mobile, convenient way. Exchange will provide the data liquidity that has been needed

for effi cient, longitudinal patient care. Healthcare organizations will be able to move beyond encounter-based care to practice population health management and, because of that, gain comprehensive insight into the patient’s past and present health. Obvious effi ciency and out- come improvements will occur from reduced duplicate testing, adverse drug events, etc. Patients will benefi t from this increased exchange by being able to own and move their data from provider to provider.

Juergen Fritsch, Chief Scientist, M*Modal

Healthcare organizations will be able to better man- age their patient population, signifi cantly improving outcomes and reducing overall cost. Preventive care in general, and chronic illnesses in particular, will be managed far more eff ectively than is possible with today’s healthcare information technology. Care providers across diff erent healthcare organizations will be able to collaborate more eff ectively and will benefi t from a more complete picture about their patient’s health without being overwhelmed by information overload. Patients will benefi t most from these new technologies. Preventive


care will mean that many diseases will not develop as quickly or as early as today. Treatments will be more eff ective because they will be based on the patient’s individual characteristics, including genomics and proteomics. Patients will be able to accomplish many of the more simple healthcare management activities themselves from their home. T ey will be able to communicate with their care providers in new and eff ective ways that will reduce the need for in-person visits while helping in the personalization of medicine.


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