The Eastern holiday period was just the perfect time to hit the pause button & reflect a bit deeper on what is fundamentally happening within our healthcare market. Glancing through all recent blog & Twitter posts (Google’s Glass & Lens, Apple’s iWatch, IBM’s Watson, Big Data,…), replaying (subconsciously) all the buzz, hype, lectures, small talk,… @ recent events (RSNA, ECR, HIMMS , WoHIT ,…), one might come to the conclusion our healthcare industry is (finally) reaching a tipping point.
Are we @ the brink of moving from one stable state into (hopefully) another stable state, in a similar manner to a wine glass tipping over? The tipping event would be irreversible, comparable to wine spilling from the glass: standing up the glass will not put the wine back:
“Watson, the supercomputer that is now the world Jeopardy champion, basically went to med school after it won Jeopardy,” MIT’s Andrew McAfee, coauthor of The Second Machine Age, said recently in an interview. “I’m convinced that if it’s not already the world’s best diagnostician, it will be soon.”
“Who will be the industry’s Amazon.com?”, PwC suggests that “market disruptors” — new industries, new technologies — will soon make a big mark on the $2.8 trillion healthcare sector. These new players are the leading edge of a what PwC calls a “new health economy” — one that “over the next decade will see today’s siloed healthcare industry become a wide open health marketplace,” said Kelly Barnes, PwC’s U.S. health industries leader, in a press statement.
ONC chief Karen DeSalvo said it’s time for ONC to drive healthcare beyond the meaningful use of electronic health records toward the use of big data. “We have done a great job in the past ten years to get where we are, but I am really excited about the next decade to advance this notion to get data beyond meaningful use and advancing interoperability,” she recently said in a keynote on Capitol Hill.
So we all see in our day to day live mobile health apps take off, to the point that regulators are trying to sort out how they should be governed before someone gets hurt. And we see wearable health and wellness devices hit the ground running – with everyone from startups to giants like Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Apple,… looking for a piece of the $3 trillion action. But how about the underlying existing health monitoring platforms ? The invisible “back office” intelligence in the hospital? Will the health systems in the hospital be visionary enough to open themselves further and seamlessly connect with and monitor their patients outside the hospital, clinic or doctor’s office to provide a true 360° degree view of the patient? That is the real challenge for the “traditional” healthcare IT vendors in order to remain an integral part of the “new health economy”!