By 2020, 80 percent of healthcare data will pass through the cloud at some point in its lifetime, as providers seek to leverage cloud based technologies and infrastructure for data collection, aggregation, analytics and decision-making. And, 65 percent of consumer transactions with healthcare organizations will be mobile by 2018.

Those are some of the near-term predictions for the healthcare industry by research firm IDC Health Insights. The predictions are meant to provide healthcare executives with a basic framework for evaluating and initiating IT initiatives—now and in the foreseeable future. Among IDC’s other predictions:

*With healthcare costs rising, operational inefficiency will become critical at 25 percent of hospitals resulting in the development of a data-driven digital hospital strategy requiring budgeting in 2016. 

*By 2015, 50 percent of healthcare organizations will have experienced 1 to 5 cyber attacks in the last 12 months with one out of three attacks deemed successful requiring healthcare organizations to invest in a multi-prong security strategy to avoid disruptions to normal operations and incurring fines and notification costs. 

*Driven by the increased pressure to improve quality and manage costs, 15 percent of hospitals will create a comprehensive patient profile by 2016 that will allow them to deliver personalized treatment plans.

*To control spiraling healthcare costs related to managing patients with chronic conditions, 70 percent of healthcare organizations worldwide will invest in consumer-facing mobile applications, wearables, remote health monitoring, and virtual care by 2018, which will create more demand for big data and analytics capability to support population health management initiatives.

*Building on continuing technology innovation and the increasing use of knowledge-based workflows and actionable analytics, more than 50 percent of big data issues will be reduced to routine operational IT by 2018, reducing the need for specialized IT resources to support big data.

*With increased dependence on external partners for outsourced services, more than 50 percent of health and life science buyers will demand substantial risk sharing by 2018 to ensure that service providers recognize their growing role in the process and delivering added revenues to high performers at the expense of satisfactory or lesser performers.

*As a result of increased pressures to deliver better outcomes of care more efficiently, payers will implement newer reimbursement models for 35 percent of their payments to providers in North America and the EU within the next 36 months resulting in related investments in quality measurement, payment and billing systems.

*By 2020, 42 percent of all healthcare data created in the Digital Universe will be unprotected but need to be protected, as use of data and analytics continues to proliferate and more stakeholders are involved in delivery of care. 

“These decision imperatives provide a road map for healthcare organizations to think about IT investments that will need to be made and the impact they will have on an organization, all of which can be used to support the planning and budgeting process,” said IDC in a statement.

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