6 Most disruptive trends in the healthcare sector

September 4th, 2019
6 Most disruptive trends in the healthcare sector

With the healthcare sector facing a period of rapid and unprecedented change, it’s not getting any easier for medical providers to keep up, especially if they’re entirely dependent on their in-house IT departments. Disruptive new technologies are continuously introducing new opportunities and risks alike, and patient expectations are changing along with them. The rise of things like precision medicine and artificial intelligence are undoubtedly game changers, but they’re also disruptive trends that present substantial challenges.

Here are some of the most important trends facing the healthcare sector:

#1. Healthcare reform

Healthcare reform is a continuous process driven by constantly changing demands and the many new challenges that come with wider changes in the sector. One overarching trend is the shift towards greater state autonomy when it comes to healthcare policy, which presents significant challenges to healthcare organizations operating in multiple states. To prepare for these changes, they need to strengthen their local advocacy and compliance efforts and focus on garnering a closer understanding of how potential policy changes might impact them.

#2. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Employees work better when they’re not spending a large portion of their efforts on manual processes and routine tasks that aren’t directly related to their skills and job descriptions. The rise of AI and related technologies like machine learning are major disruptors since they provide many new opportunities and challenges alike. At the same time, the idea of having computers dictate how healthcare services should be delivered isn’t something you can expect physicians and other personnel to embrace overnight.

#3. Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT refers to the rapidly growing network of internet-connected devices with specialized roles. In the healthcare sector, these include patient-tracking devices, smart monitoring devices, and even things like automated insulin delivery for diabetes patients. Delete wearable technology is already heavily geared towards personal health and well-being, so it’s rapidly making its way into hospitals as well. However, any connected device is a potential target for hackers, making adoption risky.

#4. Disaster preparation

Back in 2017, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) was left reeling after falling victim to the devastating WannaCry ransomware attack, which left it unable to access critical patient data. Healthcare providers all over the world are favorite targets for such attacks because cybercriminals know that access to patient data can quite literally be a matter of life and death. That makes them much more likely to pay up. That’s why healthcare providers must work towards a consolidated and centrally managed computing infrastructure featuring full redundancy and disaster recovery.

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#5. Precision medicine

Precision medicine revolves around the concept that no two medical conditions, such as heart disease or cancer, are exactly the same. Before, medicine was seen as a one-size-fits-all solution. Precision medicine, though still in its early stages, is already starting to make an impact in the treatment of certain illnesses. However, adopting the model also requires specific technology, such as machine learning for genomic sequencing. Since it’s a practice that’s so dependent on data, healthcare providers need to prepare for the future by innovating fast.

#6. Vendor management

Most, if not all, successful businesses have an extensive and constantly growing portfolio of vendors ranging from suppliers to outsourced accounting departments. The healthcare sector is no different, and it’s only getting more difficult to manage the multitude of third parties. Healthcare providers are coming under increasing pressure from compliance regulations to manage their vendors and ensure the safety of their sensitive data like patient health information.

Netcom Solutions brings 13 years of experience in the healthcare sector to the table to help providers innovate faster while mitigating the risks. Call us today to find out more.

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