In 2018, NetApp predicts that telemedicine, mobility, cloud access, wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) and big data will significantly disrupt and drive digital transformation of the healthcare industry. Organizations and service providers that have the technology savvy will quickly turn data into a competitive advantage.
As patients become armed with increasing amounts of information and become further disenchanted by the healthcare system, we will see a significant shift to a patient-driven, free-market model. In this model, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare service providers will be compelled to compete with telemedicine offerings to deliver customized care at a lower cost.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the global market for telehealth is expected to reach more than $34 billion by 2020. As a result of this growth, a new group of healthcare providers will emerge in 2018 with fresh, data-driven methods for patients, doctors, and caregivers to monitor, analyze, and manage health from a distance.
With telemedicine, patients will no longer be forced to limit their care by geography. This freedom will give patients more choice and will lift some of the burden from organizations with scarce resources, but it will also challenge existing caregivers to compete with online, international medical networks.
Behind the scenes, healthcare organizations and service providers that want to compete or integrate with telemedicine offerings will need to adopt new technologies to easily share, move, and manage patient records securely beyond hospital walls.
Wearables and IoT
A recent article on Forbes.com stated that the healthcare and life sciences IoT market is projected to increase from $520 billion in 2014 to $1.355 trillion in 2020, attaining a 17% CAGR.
This explosive growth is yet another driver of digital transformation. With patient data pouring in from smartphones, Fitbits, and wearable sensors, healthcare providers will be able to monitor a larger clinical picture for both young, healthy patients and patients with chronic conditions.
Although it’s quite possible for all this new information to help healthcare providers make significant medical breakthroughs, it will also prove extremely disruptive as it educates and empowers patients. For the first time, patients will be armed with unprecedented amounts of information about their personal health. As they become more educated and more empowered, patients will push hospitals, physicians, and pharmaceutical companies to improve their systems—from diagnosis and drugs to treatment options. As a result, we will see a major shift in the way that health services are developed and delivered. Healthcare organizations will be forced to agree to a standard procedure for gathering, analyzing, and managing significant amounts of patient data.
AI and Big Data
The sheer volume of healthcare data generated will soon become too large for humans to manage. In 2018, we will see companies emerge with increasingly sophisticated services and solutions designed to analyze this big data. As a result, this year promises to be ripe for innovation in diagnosis and treatment, both at the individual and at the population health level.
As organizations and institutions cross-collaborate, the path to discovery will accelerate, relying on secure and simplified technologies for data sharing. This transformation will support the current shift from acute care and treatment to prevention and wellness, fueled by early identification and intervention of at-risk patients and populations.
Additionally, just as healthcare organizations have turned to data to improve patient outcomes, these organizations will become increasingly introspective. They will analyze their own processes and procedures across facilities and across practices to increase efficiency; to cut costs; and to change the way that caregivers move, manage, and protect data.
Start Your Digital Transformation Now
This year will be pivotal for many healthcare organizations. To quickly leapfrog competitors, provide superior care, and improve outcomes, you need an infrastructure that’s designed to increase performance, flexibility, scalability, automation, and integration into a single Data Fabric.
Connect now to find out how the NetApp® Healthcare can help you streamline, simplify, and speed access to your critical data in 2018.