The following is a guest blog post by Sameer Siraj, Chief Product Officer at GetWellNetwork.
Without a doubt, HIMSS is the healthcare IT event of the year. And even though the event is behind us, the trends, technology innovations and patient stories are still top of mind. Having attended several times before, I’m always looking forward to listening to the engaging sessions, meeting with colleagues and clients and seeing “what’s next” in healthcare transformation.
This year was no different—and arguably one of the more exciting years on record. At the beginning of the show, we saw the ONC and CMS announce new regulations to empower patients to take control of their healthcare information. The regulations aim to help patients get easier access to their medical records in an effort to help them become more engaged and informed healthcare consumers.
“Patient empowerment” was a huge theme at the event this year as the industry shifts to a more consumer-centric model and organizations are facing increasing pressure to lower costs without sacrificing outcomes. Here are a few of my key takeaways from the event:
Consumerization of Healthcare is Here:
There was a very specific focus on engaging the patient and keeping them at the center of the care ecosystem. We’re increasingly seeing healthcare follow other industries when it comes to providing the ultimate customer experience and truly putting the customer (or patient) first.
But, in order to create the experience patients want, healthcare organizations need to focus on precise and personalized engagement. People are far more likely to engage with content that’s tailored to them and are more apt to follow a treatment plan when they truly understand the ramifications of non-adherence.
For true personalization to happen, there has to be significant interchange and sharing of data across platforms and applications. While FHIR is the start of this, there were a lot of instances where vendors were looking to create a single source of data to enable getting a holistic and aggregated view of the patient. I saw an example of an artificial intelligence-based data activation platform. The claim was that it brings together multiple EHRs, claims data, labs data, financial data and others to provide a single source of truth for health systems. This is an example of a foundational platform that is needed to drive Machine Learning based recommendations and personalization for patients. First solve the data problem, then use ML and AI to act on the data.
AI and Machine Learning are Powering the Patient Experience:
AI and Machine learning have been buzz words in the healthcare industry for quite some time. But now, were starting to see more organizations implement these technologies to actually impact patient care.
An example was how Sutter Health demonstrated an offering for personalized, on-demand health guidance. This was specifically designed at a personalized level for each patient based on their individual history and specific symptoms to point them to right care setting, using Artificial Intelligence and data about past history on the patients.
Interoperability Took Center Stage:
True interoperability is key to understanding the entire patient journey and providing the experience today’s healthcare consumers desire. Overall, I saw positive reactions to the new ONC and CMS provisions; people are excited to see the industry take steps to fix an ongoing challenge in the healthcare system.
The fact that all players in the healthcare ecosystem must align to a common set of rules on the API front is a big step forward and allows for the patient finally take an active step in their health journey.
I’m looking forward to another exciting year in healthcare IT as we focus more and more on putting the patient at the center of everything we do. Technology has the potential to change the way consumers experience healthcare and I believe we’re getting closer and closer to creating a seamless system that improves outcomes and patient satisfaction while also eliminating unnecessary costs.
About Sameer Siraj
As chief product officer, Sameer Siraj sets the global vision and strategy for GetWellNetwork’s integrated suite of cross-continuum patient experience solutions. From concept to launch and market performance to product evolution, he is responsible for bringing great ideas to life.
Sameer infuses a unique blend of strategic and commercial instincts, leadership skills, tech prowess and a pure passion for possibilities into the strategies he develops for GetWellNetwork’s evolving product ecosystem. His keen understanding of market trends, clients’ needs and the competitive landscape help guide and align tactical activities across the organization. Combining business acumen with an acute eye for innovation, Sameer develops strategies that deliver on business objectives and ensure long-term scalability and profitability for the company’s portfolio.
He joined GetWellNetwork from OptumInsight—UnitedHealth Group’s health and innovation services unit. There he led a team in driving digital transformation across the company’s portfolio of cloud-based Information Technology as a Service (ITaaS) and Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) solutions.
Sameer holds a master of business administration from Duke University and a master of science in electrical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. He earned his bachelor of technology in electronics & communication from India’s University of Kerala.