healthcare-trends-in-2017The future of healthcare technology continues to evolve and present new challenges to those working in IT departments within the healthcare sector.

CDW recently released an article on 7 Health Tech Trends for 2017 in its Winter 2016 Edition of the Tech Health Report detailing the healthcare technology trends we should be looking out for in the new year.

VR – Is it Part of the Future of Healthcare Technology?

Virtual reality continues to play a more prominent role in the current tech landscape and healthcare is one industry that can certainly benefit from this new technology.

VR has endless possibilities, going well beyond at home entertainment usage.

For starters, healthcare experts see value in VR for controlling pre-and-post surgery anxiety for patients and help veterans overcome PTSD. Surprisingly, studies have shown that playing VR games can actually lower acute pain levels as effectively as narcotics, in some instances.

VR is also truly exciting from a training perspective. Medical students can retain information far better when it’s presented in their own point-of-view, allowing students to learn about anatomy, pharmacology and how to perform surgeries. Speaking of surgeries, VR can assist doctors in planning and evaluating patients prior to going under the knife for real. 

How the Internet of Things can help Shape the Future of Healthcare Technology

Healthcare providers have already been some of the fastest adopters to the IoT, and by 2020 it Is estimated that 40% of all IoT-related technology will be health related. While wearable technology like heartrate monitoring Fitbit are at the forefront of IoT market share in the healthcare industry the viability of connected surgical implants is likely going to keep moving forward as well.

Wearables help improve communication between caregivers and patients, and hold promise to help monitor Alzheimer’s, Dementia and cardiac conditions in the future.

The Future of Healthcare Technology Lives in the Cloud

Data privacy and security needs are absolutely mission critical in Healthcare with more than just HIPAA on the line for providers. Initially, the cloud brought forth concerns about data security, but as it has become a more widely used method of data storage those concerns have weened within the industry. The cloud also makes disaster recovery and application migration much easier than it was before.

The cloud makes it easier for patients to have more flexible access to their own healthcare data as well.

Watching out for Ransomware in Healthcare

According to the CDW report, 90% of all ransomware detected occurs in the healthcare sector. Combatting ransomware is not easy, and healthcare IT departments need to have a smart preventative strategy in place long before an entrepreneurial hacker comes knocking at your door.

CDW recommends educating end users, conducting frequent backups, application white-listing, access controls and permissions and ensuring all systems and network patches are up to date as elements of a comprehensive plan to avoid ransomware.

Improving Population Health Programs

In order to stay competitive, population health programs are a big part of upcoming healthcare technology trends. Leveraging big data to help population members meet their health goals, utilizing algorithmic diagnosis and disease management techniques, evaluating geographical risk and improving communication and a patient’s ability to access comprehensive records are going certainly be part of the future of healthcare technology in 2017.

Growth of Telemedicine

Many healthcare professionals see a huge growth in telemedicine on the horizon for 2017. From real-time video conferencing between clinicians and patients to nursing home staffers meeting with a psychiatrist to better adapt to addressing dementia without the need for pharmaceuticals, telemedicine is growing and growing fast.

In fact, 90% of employers are making telemedicine a new benefit in 2017 – up from 70% in 2016.

Secure Text Messaging in Healthcare

60% of physicians, according to CDW send work-related text messages while at work. Nearly 1/3 of survey respondents have received information protected by HIPAA in a text message.

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First and foremost, patient privacy is one of the most important responsibilities a healthcare practitioner has, but texting hasn’t always been viewed as a secure means of communication.

Research shows however that hospitals can save $1 million per year to use texting for patient admissions, emergency responsive

coordination and patient transfers. Developing a secure texting system for healthcare providers that meets strict quality assurance requirements is something that we could see as soon as 2017, but will certainly see before the end of the decade.

Work with a Leader in Managed IT for the Healthcare Industry

ThrottleNet understands just how difficult managing the technical aspects of a medical practice can be. We’ve been supporting medical offices in the St. Louis area for years, offering easy-to-use, HIPAA compliant EMR software and a wealth of knowledge around the cloud, network monitoring and threat prevention. Learn more about our expertise in the medical field and contact us to learn how we can help your practice evolve with the changing landscape of the healthcare industry.