As the ONC hopes to help physicians navigate the changing health IT landscape, CIOs need help navigating the rapidly growing changes in the digital transformation of healthcare.
This week, the ONC released two resources it hopes will assist family physicians in navigating health IT: an EHR contract guide for evaluating vendors and switching EHRs, and a Health IT playbook, a web-based tool for putting EHRs to work. The Health IT Playbook highlights “best practices and success stories for system implementation; gives advice for workflow, usability and other optimization challenges, and offers guidance on HIPAA, data exchange, quality reporting and more,” according to Mike Miliard in Healthcare IT News.
CIOs navigating the digital transformation
At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016 this week, CIOs were told they could no longer afford to stay on the sidelines as algorithms, AI, bots and chatbots are already transforming businesses. Gartner fellow Steve Prentice reports that more than 500,000 new devices connect to the Internet every hour. “This growth is unabated as algorithms are feasting on the wealth of data that grows inexorably,” he says.
Prepare for ‘Patient Z’
Looking to the future, healthcare needs to start preparing for “Patient Z” according to Anil Jain, MD speaking to Healthcare Informatics. Generation Z follows the Millennials and is comprised of those born from the mid-1990s to the late-2000s. Dr. Jain says “Z” is the first truly “connected” generation. For this cohort, SnapChat is more likely to be used than Facebook.
‘Patient Z’ is surely going to demand tailored, individualized care that encompasses all aspects of their day-to-day health and they’ll want to be actively engaged in their care—and not only when they’re sick.
Digital solutions for ‘Pre-Primary Care’
Another emerging trend is a model for “Pre-Primary Care” defined by Dr. Molly Coye of the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, and David Lawrence, the former Chief Executive of Kaiser Permanente.
The first truly global provider of pre-primary care will have few doctors and no hospitals. Instead they will have digital devices and tools used at scale in communities often supported by healthcare workers with lower level qualifications.
Chatbots: From transactional to conversational
Digital tools like chatbots will help healthcare entrepreneurs scale pre-primary care solutions. Although chatbots have been around for a while, their recent explosion is due to recent advances in artificial intelligence. Chatbots started as transactional solutions improving customer service functions by helping to navigate complicated information decision trees. Voice-activated technologies and improvements in natural language processing are now enabling conversational chatbots that further streamline the user experience by learning from users and helping to make decisions in context across apps.
One company betting on a global revolution in healthcare through chatbots is Your.MD. Instead of going to Dr. Google, consumers can get health information quickly with Your.MD through a number of messengers.
HealthTap was the first healthcare company to join Facebook’s chatbot messaging platform in April of this year. Facebook now reports it has over 30,000 chatbots built by outside developers, and this month, enabled accepting bot payments through Messenger.
Silver Tsunami, untapped opportunity
The advent of Amazon’s Echo in late 2014 first pointed to the possibilities that voice-activated technologies like Alexa could bring to the elderly in healthcare. However, health IT leaders say Silicon Valley is blowing its chance to ride the silver tsunami. While 10,000 seniors are turning 65 and becoming Medicare-eligible every day, “investors in Silicon Valley and elsewhere are too focused on the shallower pool of younger, healthier Americans.”
With more than $85 million invested in chatbot startups in 2015/early 2016, the aging boomer market seems to be an untapped opportunity for entrepreneurs to deliver the more streamlined experience of chatbots, and voice-activated, natural language solutions that learn from users.
Generation Z and the silver tsunami have more in common than we might think in the digital transformation of health.
Gen Z and silver tsunami have more in common than we might think in the digital transformation of health. Click To Tweet
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