For those of you that don’t know, National Health IT Week (NHITWeek) is just around the corner (September 10-14, 2012 for those keeping track at home). As part of NHITWeek, HIMSS has put together a blog carnival where anyone who has a passion for healthcare IT can write a blog post answering the question, “How Will Health IT Make a Difference a Year from Now at the Next National Health IT Week?”
2013 is going to be an extremely important year for healthcare IT and in particular EHR. 2013 will be final year for a whole lot of EHR companies. With meaningful use stage 2 now on the table, many EHR companies will see the writing on the wall and realize that they weren’t able to build an EHR company. Plus, another major threat to small EHR companies is the ongoing acquisition of the independent medical practice by hospitals. This will likely put many EHR companies out of business in 2013.
This move will make a huge difference in the EHR market. We currently have 600+ EHR companies vying for physicians attention. While competition can be a great thing, this much competition often leaves doctors confused and on the EHR sidelines.
I predict that 2013 will bring together the first active, well adopted HIE. I’m still not sure which HIE is going to be the successful one, but I believe that one of the HIE’s will get that distinction in 2013. Unfortunately, at the same time we’re going to see many other HIE’s close up shop. Hopefully this will help us draw a clear distinction about what makes a successful HIE and what doesn’t.
Mobile Health Market
In 2013 I expect we’ll see a plethora of new health monitoring devices. I don’t believe we’ll see any of these devices see mainstream adoption in 2013, but the early adopter phase for many of these devices will start in 2013 and doctors will start to run into questions about how to integrate the data these devices collect into their clinical practices.
Doctors will face a really tough challenge as none of these devices will have mainstream adoption. So, one day a patient will come in with data from one device and the next day the patient will arrive with similar data from a different device. How a physician handles this data will the challenging questions of 2013.
Outside of medical monitoring devices, we’re going to see widespread adoption of mobile health apps related to medication compliance. Much of this work will be funded on the backs of pharma, but we’ll also see related applications related to other medical compliance as well (ie. diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, etc).
Health IT Entrepreneurship
2013 will be the year of the Health IT Entrepreneur. I expect looking back 10 years from now, we’ll see dozens of the most influential Health IT companies were started in 2013. Many parts of healthcare are ready for a change and a surprising number of investors are interested in healthcare IT. Add into that mix the large number of healthcare IT incubators and accelerator programs and it is easy to see how health IT is about to get an influx of health IT entrepreneurs.
I am interested to watch how these new to healthcare entrepreneurs adapt to many of the challenging dynamics that exist in healthcare. I’m certain that many underestimate the power of the healthcare “machine” and the challenge to change its direction. However, that might be just what healthcare IT needs.