A recent article published in Entrepreneur magazine, “5 Trends Reinventing Healthcare”, discusses how new technology is enhancing patient care across the industry. The five trends noted are: responsive web design, telemedicine, HIPAA-compliance, wearables and social media.
The trends within responsive web design and social media focus on streamlining the communication of healthcare information between the providers, patients and patients’ families. Examples of these trends include several companies’ efforts to make web portals accessible through a wider range of devices and to enhance social media platforms to allow healthcare information to be both user-friendly and informative.
Telemedicine and the booming wearables industry give companies the opportunity to efficiently and remotely connect the patient and provider. Wearables allow individuals to have instant access to key health risk indicators, such as erratic breathing or low blood oxygen levels, in real-time. Developments in communications platforms and health-monitoring equipment are providing effective solutions to the shortage of providers in rural areas.
Increased access to patients’ healthcare information, a recent surge in data breaches, and the potential regulatory and business risks of insufficient data security have resulted in a renewed focus on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). As a result, companies are investing heavily in features and resources to better encrypt and protect healthcare information.
The five trends, along with other technological advances, are drastically changing the healthcare landscape and presenting new risks. Leadership in organizations’ information technology, research and development, operations, legal, compliance, internal audit and other functions must work together to fully understand these new innovations to appropriately mitigate the risk that may be presented to their organizations.