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
HealthAffairs.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.