2018 will be unlike any other year the healthcare industry has experienced. If the acquisition of Aetna by CVS signaled a seismic shift then the announcement that Amazon, JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway will create their own healthcare company confirmed that we’re entering a period of disruption and evolution.
This innovation and digital transformation is evident in myriad places; it’s clearly guiding this year’s HIMSS Conference agenda, as well as featured in New Year predictions from industry leaders.
We had the chance to catch up with Dave Nesvisky, executive director of health and life sciences for NetApp, Americas. Working for one of the few data management companies with a dedicated healthcare solutions team, Nesvisky is uniquely positioned to assist healthcare organizations in unleashing the full potential of their data to improve patient outcomes, drive groundbreaking research, and decrease costs of healthcare delivery.
In a recent conversation with Future Healthcare Today, Nesvisky noted that “as patients become armed with increasing amounts of information and become further disenchanted by the healthcare system, we will see an increasing shift to patient-driven healthcare models. The Amazon, JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway alliance is a great example of this shift, as they join forces to offer a superior, customized healthcare solution for their employees.”
Nesvisky also identified three major trends – telemedicine, wearables and IOT, AI and Big Data – that will empower patients and further drive digital transformation of the healthcare industry.
“Telemedicine is one of the biggest areas for growth,” Nesvisky shared. Citing research by Mordor Intelligence, Nesvisky anticipates that the global market for telehealth is expected to reach more than $34 billion by 2020. “This growth will be driven in part by patients who are no longer forced to limit their care by geography. Local organizations and caregivers will be forced to up their game to compete with online international medical networks,” he said.
“In order to rise to the top of this competitive marketplace, healthcare organizations will need to ensure that behind the scenes their data management infrastructure is up to the task of facilitating the secure sharing, movement, and management of patient records both within an organization and with trusted partners. This in turn will drive the need for the industry to develop and agree a single patient record system, to facilitate the secure transfer of patient records to any organization. Any lags in connectivity, delays in receipt of patient records, or violation of patient trust through lost or stolen digital records will damage relationships leaving the door open for another provider to step in.”
Nesvisky also predicts that as patient data pours in from formal interactions, smartphones, wearable sensors, and home-based devices, outmoded data management infrastructures will struggle.
“All of this new information enables healthcare providers to monitor a larger clinical picture for both young, healthy patients and patients with chronic conditions,” said Nesvisky. But as well as giving providers more insight, it will also empower patients as they become armed with an unprecedented amount of information. “As a result, patients will become emboldened and push hospitals, physicians, and pharmaceutical companies to improve.”
According to Nesvisky, to thrive in this new healthcare environment, organizations must unlock the value of their data“ to deliver caregivers access to real-time patient records, regardless of device or location, so they can provide exceptional, customized care,” he observed.
Nesvisky was quick to add that healthcare organizations should also look to see how data can improve their internal process. “Analyzing data across facilities and practices will yield increases in efficiency from managing costs, to ameliorating protocols, to changing the ways that caregivers move, manage, and protect data.”
While digital transformation might seem overwhelming, the keys to success are straightforward as far as Nesvisky is concerned. “Healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations need to be able to focus on their core mission – whether that’s to provide superior care, or bring a new treatment to market more quickly. Behind the scenes it’s important to find a trusted partner to streamline, simplify and speed access to critical healthcare data,” he concluded.