2018 Health Technology Trends OR 7 Magnificent Health Tech Trends of 2018

Last year, we shared our insights into the top 5 digital health trends that are helping shape the future of healthcare and we are happy to say we will continue to see these trends evolve well throughout 2018. This year we rang in the new year with our clients’ and their innovative projects that just so happen to fall into each of the following 7 categories.

Without a doubt, this will be an exciting year as we are at the forefront of the latest technologies with endless possibilities for the improvement of healthcare. More than ever before, we are ecstatic about bringing our clients’ visions to realization and are looking forward to seeing more trends emerge as the year progresses.

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Top 5 Digital Health Trends for 2017

There is no question about it, digital health is helping shape the future of healthcare. Patients are becoming proactive and are now weighing their options when it comes to finding the most cost effective and high quality healthcare solution on the market. On the other end of the spectrum, health insurance companies, providers and health tech product companies are all competing to deliver cutting edge tech solutions to solve a variety of industry wide problems.

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TOP 10 (Digital) Health Conferences in 2017 (until now)

One of the best perks of having been in the field of healthcare IT for over 15 years is the opportunity to watch the evolution of healthcare first hand. From ground breaking health tech innovations to digital health trend tracking, we obtain our insight from healthcare events we attend throughout the year such as conferences, summits, expos and festivals nationwide. We love being inspired and at these events we get to meet a lot of really passionate individuals, hear innovative ideas and disruptive projects. We also get to contribute to the changes happening throughout the healthcare industry.

Over the years Vicert has attended too many conferences to count, which is why we finally compiled a list of our Top 20 Health Conferences of 2017. Of course some events are better than others, but keep in mind this an insider view of events with a focus on digital health. Expect our comments, tips and general info about the event as you read our first 10 picks for 2017.

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Summer in the Health Cloud: AWS Lambda Slack Bot

Summer is famous for its flings, and our R&D department (basically our devs having fun with new tech) chose their first week of summer crush – AWS Lambda (before another one catches their eye next week – IBM Bluemix OpenWhisk).  

In just a couple of hours in a relaxed summer atmosphere (courtesy of our HR department for providing these amazing lounge chairs) our devs were able to test AWS Lambda by making a Slack Bot. The idea was to check how we could automize and build a development environment for a healthcare client – meaning it needed to be HIPAA compliant (whence AWS Lambda and Slack).

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Top 6 Challenges for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Member Companies in 2017

2016 has brought many challenges to the health industry. Difficulties with reimbursements and increases in medical costs has driven up the bottom line. Additionally, significant increases in funding of digital health startups over the past three years have brought an onslaught of companies disrupting segments of the payer business model. Fortunately, the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand is a household name that can carry member companies into Health 2.0.

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Over the past 15 years we have been working in digital health, including with BCBSA member companies. Based on our observations here are the six areas BCBSA member companies will be focusing on in 2017:

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Faulty Code Carries Consequences in Digital Health

Developers and coders are a hot commodity and the boom in start-ups around digital health combined with increased health IT spending is making qualified developers harder to find. It’s a classic example of supply not keeping pace with demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1.4 million computer science jobs are expected by 2020, but only 400,000 new computer science graduates to meet the demand.

With the increase in mobile device applications and further implementation of electronic health records, privacy and security is a growing concern. Naturally, patients expect healthcare organizations to take the necessary steps to safeguard their personal information. 

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Feds use EHR certification to push transparency

Ensuring that your electronic health record product meets tightening federal certification requirements is getting more challenging as officials scrutinize health IT products more closely for hot-topic issues such as patient privacy, health information exchange and general transparency about their real-world capabilities.

Over the past several weeks, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has been busy issuing proposed rules and publishing the names of non-complying vendors’ products. This flurry of activity has taken place in the several weeks leading up to ONC’s annual meeting in Washington DC.

A March 2nd proposal would give the ONC expanded authority to regulate health IT products under the certification program set up as part of the health IT incentive program known as HITECH. In response, a number of industry and health IT advocacy groups had responded that they were worried that the proposal was too far-reaching.

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Alternatives to Traditional Insurance:  Aligning the Accrual of Benefits

The healthcare delivery system is undergoing tremendous change because of pressures to increase access, reduce costs and improve outcomes.  New and innovative approaches to how care is being delivered are emerging and the shift to population health, along with an emphasis in engaging patients in self-management activities, are all contributing to the transformation of healthcare in the United States.

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11 Patient-Centered Digital Health Trends in 2016

Today’s healthcare leaders are faced with challenges in managing the financial health of their organizations; especially in response to the expansion of quality reporting, meaningful use and other penalties.  They are looking for ways to improve the health of their patients, and condition-specific populations, at a reasonable cost.  Increasingly they hear about the importance of patient-centeredness and the most effective of these leaders are recognizing the connection to digital health tools.

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EHR Integration – Challenges and Solutions

The marriage between a hospital and its electronic medical records vendor may not always be loving and open, and may even end in divorce. But while the relationship is flourishing, the pair are by necessity devoted to one another, and the vendor often tries valiantly to meet its hospital’s every need, in every department.

So why would a big, dominant EHR vendor like EPIC or Cerner allow an interloper into the family…  some young thing fresh from Santa Clara or Madison or Austin, offering a new and exciting way to solve some small part of the hospital’s complicated life? Because they have to.

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