This article first appeared on Medical Design Technology, outlining drivers for medical IT companies. While Bosch dove into the technical details for these companies, here’s the overview in trends as it pertains to surgical teams.
The American healthcare system continues to evolve at a blinding pace as new care delivery and payment models change the landscape. The uncertainty of this disruptive shift is reverberating across the healthcare value chain. We see four game-changing drivers companies need to factor into their strategic planning to set themselves up for success in today’s value-based healthcare marketplace.
Creating breakthrough solutions that enable new, highly flexible clinical workflows and patient lifestyles is rapidly becoming a prerequisite to market success. Achieving this involves higher levels of interoperability complexity and sophistication. Even simple electromechanical devices have evolved to become highly sophisticated connected devices designed to support personalized care for patients, while generating (useful) data.
2. Patient Engagement
Keeping healthy patients healthy and intervening early in the progression of disease are high priorities for improving overall patient health and reducing healthcare costs. Delivering solutions that facilitate proactive patient engagement and care coordination is a key strategy for success.
‘Patient engagement 2.0’ is all about reaching out and meeting patients where they live. Integrating with peoples’ everyday lives is essential to drive the lifestyle changes necessary to move the needle on population health. Just as consumer brands are engaging with people on social media, so too will healthcare providers.
Regardless of where and how clinicians engage with patients, effective engagement will be more interactive and proactive. For example, consider a solution that tracks medication compliance and adherence to treatment regimens and engages the patient to encourage compliance and facilitate clinical intervention, if required—potentially even private messaging the patient via social media. Instead of relying on the patient to inform their provider, the solution identifies clinically relevant data, in near real time and triggers an early response to potential issues.
This next-generation approach to engagement can also improve care coordination and transitions. For example, enabling a clinician to identify the optimum specialist for a patient, based on analysis of relevant metrics for each specialist in the context of the patient’s situation.
Developing innovative patient engagement solutions involves complex interactions among disparate data sources, systems and networks. Again, specialized expertise can accelerate the journey from “concept” to “solution.”
3. Data Analytics
Healthcare professionals need help identifying actionable data to support more informed decisions, more quickly. Given the sheer volume of patient data today, this necessitates the use of sophisticated analytics to “connect the dots” in this sea of data, delivering actionable information and decision support to help improve patient care and population health management.
In addition to providing value for customers, data analytics may also open the door to new, revenue-generating services and solutions for manufacturers. Analyzing de-identified patient information (while ensuring compliance with HIPAA and other privacy regulations) can provide a wealth of insight. For example, analyzing epidemiology data may point the way to new market opportunities opening up—or existing ones fading. Aggregated patient data could be resold to a variety of interested parties, from clinical researchers studying morbidity patterns to payer organizations hungry for data to help refine their actuarial algorithms. Device usage reporting could be automated and sold as a service, helping customers meet their compliance needs while reducing their workload.
These key drivers—interoperability, patient engagement and data analytics—involve a move toward greater connectivity among systems and data sources, and new communication channels between clinicians and patients. This reality demands that cybersecurity be a core element of any healthcare IT solution, not an afterthought. A comprehensive, systems-thinking approach is required to ensure that security is an integral part of the solution design.