By Robbie Hughes, CEO, Lumeon

HiMSS, the largest conference in the healthcare IT industry, was in full swing in Orlando last week. The show attracted around 45,000 attendees and over 1,200 exhibitors.

While headline topics ranged from AI and machine learning to cyber security and population health, the Lumeon team also noted the following trends being discussed out and about on the exhibition floor.


We’ve got “too many” apps for that

Consumerization of healthcare and enhanced CX or ‘Customer experience’ was a big topic at HiMSS this year, and demand for patient apps was particularly strong. This was evident by the sheer number of vendor stands (stretching almost a mile) offering digital engagement solutions for every speciality of healthcare.

While apps obviously have huge potential to transform patient monitoring and engagement, providers need to make sure that they do not become data silos. Apps should allow bi-directional flow of data that is linked to outcome measures and should integrate with software that orchestrates patient journeys. There needs to be a degree of consolidation in this space as well. If a patient has a number of conditions, do they really need three or four different apps? The industry doesn’t seem to be really thinking holistically about this yet and this will be an opportunity for the IDNs to create some differentiation.


Automation is becoming more widespread

Wind the clock back a few years and automation was confined to the realms of retail and manufacturing industry. This year at HiMSS it was evident that automation is now an accepted trend in healthcare and more providers and vendors are recognising the benefits of adopting a system-driven approach to clinical and administrative workflows.

While on the surface automation can seem at odds with ‘patient-centric’ care, it actually helps personalize care delivery in a highly responsive way. Algorithms can intelligently adapt care pathways in response to an individual’s behavior or health data, or predict appropriate digital wellbeing programs using population health insights.


Telemedicine is going mainstream

Not only are we seeing more innovative companies entering this market but more health systems are creating telehealth centers. The increased emphasis on providing care in-between visits is a direct result of the pressure to track and obtain better outcomes – which will be directly linked to reimbursement.

It’s a strategy that is also popular with providers of corporate wellbeing solutions – due to insurance premium discounting by the payor community. This will mean managing huge numbers of employees on a huge variety of pathways to avoid acute admissions. With 32 states now significantly advancing their legislation around telemedicine, we anticipate strong growth led in particular by teleconsultations, telemonitoring and teleradiology.


Bundled payments and value-based care is not going away

Despite nervousness about what will replace Obamacare, the consensus is that the principle of value-based care and bundled payments is here to stay. However, progress will still depend on state legislation and the country will likely be split between Republican and Democrat agendas.

Generally, there will be increased demand for transparency around outcomes data and performance. It was announced last week, for example, that patients will be able to compare performance of individual surgeons when it comes to bowel and spine procedures or hip and knee replacement, using outcomes data published on the Checkbook website.