Next year’s top trends in healthcare IT

While the idea doctors using tablets may seem a little far fetched for some, the changes expected to occur next year will take mobility trends even further, integrating recently-developed solutions and healthcare in new and unforeseen ways.

Considering the way in which technology now affects every part of our lives, it should come as no surprise that new tech solutions have dramatically changed the way healthcare is administered in North America and around the world. While the idea doctors using tablets may seem a little far fetched for some, the changes that ZDNet expects to occur next year will take mobility trends even further, integrating recently-developed solutions and healthcare in new and unforeseen ways.

David Gewirtz, ZDNet columnist and IT advisor to the Florida Public Health Association, recently laid out his top predictions for what to expect in 2013 with regard to healthcare IT.

Going big with BYOD: A growing number of companies have embraced the bring-your-own-device trend as a way to reduce costs and increase employee flexibility. According to Gewirtz, BYOD will become even more popular in hospitals and other settings in the coming months. BYOD has already arrived in healthcare – The Wichita Eagle reported last month that an estimated 50 percent of doctors send and receive text messages relating to their work – but providers going forward need to better balance BYOD’s benefits with data security compliance concerns.

Expect more cybersecurity threats: Data breaches and hacks are already a major concern, as a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute earlier this year found that 94 percent of hospitals have experienced at least one breach. In 2013, Gewirtz predicted that healthcare providers will be more frequently targeted by cyber thieves, who view the sensitive information held by hospitals and doctors’ offices to be extremely valuable and easy to nab.

Tablets and smartphones as surrogate doctors: Mobile devices have already changed how many people think about healthcare, and Gewirtz said this trend is likely to continue into 2013. The Pew Research Center reported earlier this year that 31 percent of all Americans with a cellphone use their mobile device to look up healthcare information online. In 2013, ZDNet reported that people will look to smartphones and tablets for monitoring vitals such as heart rate and will increasingly access healthcare info apps. This is not just limited to patients, and tablets may become far more prevalent among healthcare professionals well.

What tech trends do you think will appear in the healthcare industry next year? Do these advancements excite you, or are you worried that hospitals are rushing to adopt new solutions without applying layered security measures like application control first? Leave your comments below to let us know your thoughts about this list!

Kate Beckham

Kate has been lighting up the blogosphere for over 5 years, with a keen interest in social media and new malware threats. When not sitting at a café behind her Mac, you’ll usually find her scouring the racks for vintage finds or playing guitar.