10 IT trends at large delivery systems for 2018

Cybersecurity is getting more attention, while artificial intelligence’s benefits may not be realized next year.

10 leading IT trends at large delivery systems for 2018

A recent survey of 20 large healthcare delivery systems finds most plan to invest in proven technologies in 2018, with the aim of achieving an immediate impact. At the same time, they are becoming more cautious of the hype surrounding newer technologies. The Center for Connected Medicine in Pittsburgh and the Health Management Academy, comprising executives of large health systems, conducted the survey and found trends involving cybersecurity, consumer-facing technology, predictive analytics, virtual care and artificial intelligence. Here are the results.

1. Staffing up to beef up cybersecurity

Some 92 percent of respondents plan to increase spending on technology to improve cybersecurity in 2018. Two-thirds of respondents are increasing non-C suite cyber security staff.

2. Eschewing options to pay for a ransomware attack

Some 44 percent of respondents have not opened a bitcoin wallet or don’t plan to open a wallet in 2018 to be prepared to pay for a ransomware attack.

3. Questioning the value of data from wearables, mobile apps

Less than one-quarter of respondents expect wearables or mobile apps to be sources of valuable patient-generated data next year. However, executives say they are planning for patient-generated data to make up a larger portion of a patient’s health record in the future.

4. Promoting health and wellness apps on tap

Despite pessimism about the value of data from wearables and mobile apps, all respondents will promote health and wellness apps to patients in 2018.

5. Making treatment personal

More than half of respondents say their organizations are using or plan to start using genomic testing as part of providing personalized medicine to patients. These efforts are focused on oncology, anesthesia and pharmacogenetics.

6. Moving to the cloud for data

Some 46 percent of respondents will use cloud computing to host clinical applications and data in 2018.

7. Expecting a payoff from virtual care

Fewer than half of respondents (39 percent) say their organizations receive reimbursement for virtual care or remote monitoring (45 percent). But of the respondents not receiving reimbursement, 71 percent say their organizations expect reimbursement next year.

8. Growing telehealth services

Clinical areas in which most respondents expect to add telehealth services in 2018 include mental health (33 percent), urgent care (29 percent) and dermatology (25 percent).

9. Implementing AI—not so fast

Compared with other IT priorities in 2018, implementing AI is a low or very low priority at two-thirds of responding organizations. Executives see AI in its early stages in which proving its value is difficult, but they do expect it to have greater impact in the future.

10. Finding best uses for AI

The area at health systems where respondents are most interested in increasing the use of AI is for handling medical costs and health plans. A copy of the full report is available here.

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