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.
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: