In today’s ever-evolving technological environment, the new becomes old fast. As a result, healthcare providers, insurers and hospitals feel the demands of adopting new innovations and treating patients with new technologies that many patients have come to expect. PNC Healthcare Senior Vice President Jean Hippert said in a March 2015 news release that insurers and healthcare providers must start adapting new technologies now. Hippert’s assessment is based on the results of a PNC Healthcare survey that explored the impact of patient-centered care among various age groups, including millennials (ages 21-32), Generation X or Gen-Xers (ages 33-49), baby boomers (ages 50-71) and seniors (age 72+). Millennials will overtake boomers as the nation's biggest consumer buying group, shifting the purchasing power. The rules of evolution dictate that those insurers and health care providers that survive or thrive will be those that adapt sooner than later to the preferences of this fast-paced, technology-driven generation.Jean Hippert, Senior Vice President, PNC Healthcare Health IT Innovations reported in February 2015 that healthcare providers have already brought in new technologies to manage patients’ data, resulting in electronic health records (EHRs). They have also turned to clinical measures and decision support tools as new information systems. However, many healthcare systems are in stovepipe infrastructures. Not all hospitals are automated and half of the functions are done on paper. The public and private sectors alike are updating their legacy systems so they can better interact with providers and Federal agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Onvia’s Project Center shows that state and local agencies issued 967 bids and requests for proposals in 2014 for IT software and services geared for healthcare-specific functions; of those, 46% are for computer software and 26% are for information systems consulting. California Department of Health Care Services In December 2014, awarded Natus Medical Inc. a contract for data management services for the department’s newborn hearing screening program. Natus will handle an automated data management system to collect and track information. In the first quarter of 2015, state and local agencies released 208 bids and RFPs related to technology for healthcare, with 44% for computer software. Minnesota Department of Human Services Aging and Adult Services Division In April 2015, released an RFP for a 30-month contract, with two possible extensions, for an electronic personal health record system (EPHRs ) solution for beneficiaries of long-term services and support (LTSS). As part of a CMS grant program, the department wants demonstrations of enhanced EPHRs. The awardee would participate in two phases of a nationally developed electronic LTSS (e-LTSS) standard. Implants and Wireless Communications As more baby boomers turn 65 years old, Health Decisions Inc. projects a continued increase in implants and wireless communications and more industry innovations. “In 2015, the device industry will continue to lay the groundwork for a future in which there is an implant to restore an acceptable level of functioning to virtually every compromised joint and organ,” according to the company’s 2015 medical device development trends white paper. Using keywords related to “implants” and “wireless communications” in Onvia’s Project Center reveals 167 related bids and RFPs published by state and local governments in 2014; state agencies issued 71% of those solicitations. Massachusetts Department of Public Health Released a solicitation in March 2014 to create a list of pre-qualified vendors to supply specialty medical instruments and surgical implants that are unavailable on other state contracts. University of Central Missouri Awarded both Phonak LLC and Unitron Hearing five-year contracts in November 2014 to provide the school with hearing aids, wireless adaptors and receivers, wireless transmitters, earmolds and remotes. Immunoassays Health Decisions also foresees an increased demand for immunoassays, as medical professionals use more biologic therapeutics and move further into areas such as gene therapy. Immunoassays are quick tests to study biological systems by tracking different proteins, hormones and antibodies. States led in issuing solicitations for immunoassays in 2014 having solicited 51% of the 81 bids; the total number of immunoassay solicitations increased by 14% from 2013 to 2014. Michigan Department of Community Health Awarded Bio-Rad Laboratories a $2.89 million contract in March 2015 to provide diagnostic testing kits reagents and equipment. Takeaways Experts expect a continued shake-up in the healthcare and medical equipment industries in 2015. Technological innovations will predominate the market. As patients’ data becomes more detailed, insurers and healthcare providers will need to find ways to protect the information while they also integrate disparate data systems. Healthcare providers should be aware of related innovations because an increasing number of their customers will expect up-to-date technologies—whether for implants, wireless devices or personal records. In this growing market, technology and medical equipment vendors can generate business by assisting the public sector with adopting and implementing needed data integrations and the latest medical devices.