Thursday, March 27, 2014

Another Look at Healthcare & Health Information Technology through 2040

The health care industry will continue to grow in importance, both in the U.S. and around the world over the next several decades. New technologies, in particular, will play a key role in dramatically changing the practice of medicine and improving people's health.

It is generally understood that the key health information technologies (HIT) to be deployed during this decade include Electronic Health Record (EHR), Personal Health Record (PHR), and Mobile Health (mHealth) apps - all ultimately interconnected via Health Information Exchange (HIE) networks.

While striving to achieve those objectives by 2020 will lay the foundation for dramatically improving healthcare across America, radical transformation of health care will start to come about in the decades to follow. The following are some of the emerging health information technologies that I predict will begin to be deployed by 2020 and will be used widely in the U.S. by 2040.
  • Genomic Information Systems, BioRepositories, & Predictive Medicine modules integrated with EHR Systems
  • Nanotechnology & Implantable Health IT Systems interfaced to EHR and PHR Systems
  • Advanced User Interface Solutions, e.g. Wearable Systems, mHealth Apps, and Health eGaming Technologies
  • Health Information Exchange (HIE) interfaced to networks serving other Industries/Sectors, e.g. Banking, Security, Manufacturing, Pharma, Retail, etc.
  • Televideo & Home-Based TeleHealth solutions interconnecting patients with health care providers
  • A wide range of many other smart devices interfaced to Health IT (HIT) systems, i.e. Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Widespread 'Open Access' to Health Information and 'Open Data' by consumers, researchers, and healthcare providers
  • Integrative Medicine information and software modules (e.g. acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal medicine) integrated into EHR/PHR systems
  • Standardized public health information systems and health information exchange networks to help fight global pandemics and improve health around the world.
  • Continuing shift to 'open' cloud computing enabling growth in data mining and data analytics by researchers and analysts across all segments of the healthcare sector.

It is time for the more forward thinking health IT executives, clinical informaticists, healthcare providers and consumers to begin thinking farther out and sharing their thoughts. What emerging technologies do you see widely deployed by 2040? Regenerative Medicine? Precision Medicine? ...

The following are some interesting excerpts from various strategic healthcare plans and reports produced by a number of public and private organization on the future of healthcare in America from 2020 through 2050:
  • Almost 100 percent of Americans will have health coverage of some sort by 2020. About half of the the population will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Veterans Health and/or the Military Health systems. Most of the remaining population will purchase subsidized coverage through the new health insurance exchange (HIX) systems.
  • The emphasis in health care will continue to shift to disease prevention and health promotion, and reinvigorating the public health system over the next several decades as the threats of global pandemics and bioterrorism increase.
  • The emphasis on ambulatory care and long term geriatric care in the U.S. will continue to grow over the next several decades, along with the growth of home-based healthcare enabled by the growing use of telehealth technologies.
  • Telemedicine and home-based healthcare will start to play a much bigger role over the next decade. New physician-to-physician and physician-to-patient communications and health care processes will have developed and been accepted.
  • There will be a continuing shift to personalized health care. By 2020, patients will have become more empowered and involved in better managing their own health care using more sophisticated mobile health apps interconnected to electronic health record (EHR) systems via health information exchange (HIE) networks.
  • Another way that technology will further empowers patients to take more control of their healthcare in partnership with their healthcare providers relates to the growing access by patients to a wide range of health information portals and resources available on the web.
  • New wearable body sensors that capture continuous physiological data streams during daily routines--as opposed to discrete data captured at isolated moments in time--will provide clinicians with greater context and enable them to diagnose based on more robust evidence.
  • Complete organ replacements grown from stem cells will become possible in the 2020-2030 timeframe leading to growth of a major new bio-industry. Regenerative medicine will become a reality as we continue the drive towards 'singularity'.

No comments: