Tuesday, January 17, 2017

9 Healthcare Predictions For 2017

By Reenita Das

Partner and Senior Vice President
Transformational Health

Frost & Sullivan

Every year at Frost & Sullivan, the Transformational Health team brainstorms top predictions for the year ahead. 2017 will definitely continue to be a year of tumultuous uncertainty and turbulence. But amidst this uncertainty, we know for a fact that technology will continue to flourish and will have an unprecedented impact on healthcare in terms of building some of the foundation blocks towards a connected home and healthcare ecosystem.

The following are our nine top predictions for healthcare for 2017:

Strong Push Toward Price Control And Transparency Measures Around Drugs

Public and political pressure on the control of surging drug prices, globally, will compel health authorities to bring transparency measures around drugs pricing, especially for some of the diabetes and cholesterol medicines where more low-cost generic competition is gaining market acceptance.

Blockchain Becomes One Of The Most Important Technologies In The Healthcare Industry

With the potential to change how healthcare information is stored, shared, secured and paid for, blockchain technologies have immense potential to tackle some of the biggest challenges in healthcare information management. Companies like Gem Health are among the few companies currently advocating the use and benefits of such a platform.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Transforms Medical Imaging Informatics

As more and more experts and healthcare professionals find the usability of these AI systems as decision support tools and not decision makers, uptake of AI-enabled clinical decision support tools is expected to increase in the coming years. More particularly during 2017, AI will play a big role in diagnostic imaging by complementing radiologists with advanced interpretation and imaging informatics supports.

Deployment Of More Sophisticated Outcomes-Based Compensation Care Models

To date, the majority of outcome-based compensation models are, in reality, performance modifiers built on top of legacy fee-for-service reimbursement schemes. In 2017, we will begin to see more fully formed schemes that focus on patient support across the care continuum. As such, healthcare providers are in dire need of the right technologies and tools to help them effectively deploy and coordinate patients, personnel and infrastructure.

Apple To Enter Clinical Healthcare

Healthcare has been a big focus for Apple in the past two years, and the company is committed to creating more clinical actionable products and services. Last August, Apple acquired medical records startup Gliimpse in order to broaden its presence in the personal healthcare information management market and complement existing solutions; these include HealthKit, CareKit and ResearchKit. This marks a tangible shift for Apple toward more clinically oriented solutions.

Venture Capital (VC) Healthcare Investment Will Have A Record Year

An ideal confluence of events is poised to make 2017 a banner year for VC investment in healthcare. Strains on healthcare spending, the global recession, tightening regulatory oversight and other factors have put a stranglehold VC dollar flow over the past five years, particularly for very early-stage companies in the healthcare industry. However, with the maturation of certain emerging technologies, policy changes to the FDA and access to cash, it is expected there will be a resurgence in funding for new healthcare technologies.

The Digital Health Toolkit Comes To Behavioral Health

Digital health coaching platforms and wellness programs with proven behavioral therapies will find their way as an efficient alternative to post-care settings and rehabilitation centers. Innovative online patient engagement platforms are capable of capturing tailored information on lifestyle and behavioral health. This is based on health risks data that have a white space opportunity to provide patient risk classification solutions to make precision medicine a holistic approach.

With a view to avoid future excessive treatment costs, payers will encourage healthier lifestyles among members; they are likely to provide them with wearables and incentives for attaining specific health goals as motivation. In the New Year, wellbeing programs will become a central, critical business imperative, necessary for optimizing not just the productivity and performance of employees, but also for managing the bottom line.

Point-Of-Care Diagnostic Devices Push Telehealth Beyond Video Conferencing

Consumers will play a greater role in driving the uptake of point of care testing. In vitro diagnostic device (IVD) manufacturers will invest in digital strategy. This is in order to make their business models patient-centric with consumer-friendly devices, embed remote connectivity features for real-time access to data, and simplifying sample collection process.

Consumer Will Be The New King in Healthcare Decision Making

The concept of consumerism has been making inroads into the healthcare industry and is advancing proportionally with the shifting industry focus from volume to value-based care delivery models. With this thriving consumer engagement movement, consumers are more receptive to information and as they want to actively participate in their healthcare treatment during, pre- and post-care. Technology is also playing a pivotal role in this paradigm shift with connected health products such as wearables, telehealth, artificial intelligence
and others.

This article was written with contributions from the Visionary Healthcare Program team and Venkat Rajan, Global Director for Frost & Sullivan’s Transformational Health Practice.

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