Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Top Healthcare IT Predictions for 2016

Each new year starts with a flood of predictions, and it can be difficult to know which ones are truly prescient and which are just a lazy way to fill column space during the holidays. I had initially planned a project that would catalog as many 2016 predictions in the field of Healthcare IT as possible and track which came true throughout the year, but two major problems arose. First, there are simply too many predictions to track. Second, most of the predictions are subjective and untestable. The predictions are mostly about trends, not events. Even for those that contain quantified metrics (e.g., the wearables market will hit $6 billion), it can be difficult to determine whether the target was achieved.
I decided to address the first problem by choosing 10 publications from which to draw the lists of 2016 predictions. To solve the second problem, I've rolled up the predictions into a consensus. The next blog post will document the consensus predictions. I will explore each one in detail over the next several installments.
By the time I have explored each prediction, it will be deep enough into the year to ascertain how the predictions are tracking against reality. Because the predictions are imprecise, my analysis will be qualitative rather than a yes/no on whether each one came true.
The predictions come from the following 10 sources:
1. Forbes: Top 10 Healthcare Predictions For 2016
This story is about Frost & Sullivan's top trends for 2016. I have omitted two of their predictions that concern non-U.S. trends.
2. Fortune: 10 Big Healthcare Predictions for 2016Fortune's list is unique in that the preponderance of predictions is negative; they use words like "flop", "bust", "cool", and "go pop." Will the naysayers turn out to be right?
These two articles contain just a few predictions each, but they're very high-level and encompass a number of possibilities. 
5. IDC: IDC Releases Top 10 Predictions for Healthcare and IT Is in the Driver's SeatThis article's predictions are terse, jargon-filled, and, on the whole, aimed at 2017 and 2018 rather than 2016. It might be the most difficult article for the casual reader to understand, but it has some of the most interesting predictions.
6. MedCity News: A Look into Healthcare’s Future: Here’s What Will Matter in Medicine in 2016This article has more testable predictions than any other: four of the ten predict specific events that either will or won't happen in 2016. 
7. MDDI: 5 Bold Predictions For Medtech in 2016MDDI serves the Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry, which might not be the best bellwether for the broader HIT industry. This set of predictions adds some richness to the overall data set.
8. MassTLC: 2016 Healthcare PredictionsAlthough this organization is focused on technology in Massachusetts, they make industry-wide predictions.
9. Chilmark Going Beyond the Obvious: 2016 Predictions for Healthcare ITChillmark’s list of 13 predictions is the longest and most wide-ranging set of predictions.
10. Healthcare IT News: 2016 Predictions for Health ITThis list of 10 predictions by Dr. John Halamka is the only one written by a practicing CIO about his own industry and position.
All together, the 10 articles contain 81 distinct predictions. No two predictions were exactly the same, but many of them cover the same territory. My next post will highlight the common themes and create a list of consensus predictions for 2016.

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