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Rounding Up All 2016 Healthcare & Health IT Predictions

If you’re like me, your Twitter and LinkedIn feeds are blowing up with 2016 predictions for healthcare and health IT. But since we’re in the holiday spirit here, we’ve consolidated a short list of the best predictions for each, as well as an analysis of the most frequently-cited trends and where we see some gaps. You’re welcome.

Healthcare Predictions:

Health IT Predictions:

After reading all of these, a few commonalities jumped out. Some of the most commonly cited trends included:

  • M&A across all healthcare segments
  • The impact of wearables
  • Increasing progress in interoperability
  • Cybersecurity and privacy issues
  • Big data in healthcare getting… bigger
  • Consumerism, especially retail care and digital health
  • Changing health IT vendor landscape

All of these are fine and well, but I’d argue that these lists are still missing a few. 2016 will see precision/personalized medicine becoming more mainstream, and placing a huge burden on IT and data/analytics solutions to capture and understand new forms of data. And kudos to PwC and Becker’s Hospital Review for being the only ones to identify behavioral healthcare as a key issue in 2016. With one out of five American adults experiencing mental illness in a given year, our ignorance and collective refusal to address this fact is shameful and hopefully nearing its end.

And when it comes to venture funding, I predict that some of the “sexier” categories – like wearables – will become less compelling. Or, rather, I hope they will. While wearables hold great promise for healthcare, that’s like jumping from building the first Model T (akin to where we are now in healthcare) to launching a fleet of hovercrafts. We still have a long way to go in innovating a complete health IT infrastructure for healthcare, and while it may not always be sexy, that’s where real change can happen right away.

Stay tuned for my next blog, which takes a look back at 2015 predictions made a year ago, and gives some tough love – and kudos – based on what actually came true.

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