10 Predictions for Healthcare IT In 2020

The only thing in life that is constant is change.

That wisdom from an ancient Greek philosopher (Heraclitus) surely rings true in 2020 for leaders in health IT who face new technological advances that will shape their organizations for years to come. 

Analyst group IDC envisions the new decade as one focused on the next level of digital transformation maturity. As stated by Research Director Mutaz Shegewi in IDC’s Annual Research Report on Health Industry Predictions:  

“Future enterprises break away from traditional health industry practices by embracing digital transformation at scale. These are digitally determined organizations, organizing around high-value, high-growth, digital transformation use cases where reinvention is commonplace and all operations are happening at hyperscale, hyperspeed, and are hyperconnected.” 

IT organizations will need to get with the times or get left behind, according to the new IDC report, which outlines 5 key drivers for healthcare leaders to understand and plan for. 

The Age of Innovation

The future of the health industry is being powered by a variety of platforms, ecosystems, data analytics, and machine learning. The information collectively obtained by these platforms become innovations that drive the healthcare industry further into the digital era. 

Intelligence Everywhere

With AI’s opportunities and implications comes investment and innovation surrounding it across the health industry. In fact, Tractica, a market intelligence firm, forecasts that “global software revenue from 22 key healthcare AI use cases will grow from $511.7 million in 2018 to $8.6 billion annually by 2025.Though an increasingly accelerated process, AI also receives pushback surrounding ethical and misuse concerns. Organizations and governments as a whole are being challenged to address the legal and ethical concerns with the intent to improve healthcare. 

Rising Customer Expectations 

A continuing theme from last year, centered around increasing convenience, customization, and control. When customers interact with healthcare services and products, they crave ease and personalization — and it’s up to health IT companies to provide. The rise of “on-demand healthcare” is one way to meet those upcoming customer expectations. 

The Internet of Things 

The Internet of Things (or IoT) is essentially the connection of any device with an on/off switch to the internet, allowing for data sharing. IoT in healthcare includes the use of wearables, such as heart rate and blood pressure monitors, and in tracking hospital equipment such as wheelchairs, defibrillators, and more. Grand View Research projects the Global IoT healthcare market to reach $534.3 billion by 2025.

New Leadership Roles 

Big changes in healthcare call for big changes in leadership roles, with titles such as “Chief Digital Officer”, “Chief Analytics Officer”, and others that would serve as digital board directors. The future of Healthcare IT demands that organizations look to find talent with a digital mindset if they hope to keep up with growth in the healthcare IT market. 

2020 Predictions for Healthcare

Based on these macro trends shaping the industry, IDC analysts also offer 10 Global Healthcare IT Industry Predictions for 2020, per the IDC FutureScape Report. Here's what their crystal ball sees in year ahead:

  1. Economics will drive the near-term use of RWE in quantifying existing best practices and value in the life sciences, resulting in 50% of strategic insights directly supported by RWE by 2021.
  2. Worldwide, more than 50% of pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers will employ prescriptive analytics or AI using IoT data to optimize their supply chains by 2021.
  3. By 2021, the percentage of health organizations that will leverage technology to integrate all dimensions of health to deliver personalized care and demonstrate improved outcomes will grow to only 50%.
  4. Responding to increased healthcare costs and consumer pressures, "Benefit Plans of One" will be offered in 30% of health plans for engaged consumers by 2022.
  5. By 2022, 30% of pharma companies and 40% of healthcare providers will offer smartphone or smartwatch apps to improve medication adherence and patient engagement.
  6. By 2022, 20% of healthcare and 30% of life sciences organizations will have achieved data excellence via advanced data analytics and intelligent cores that support human-machine collaboration.
  7. By 2023, 30% of health and life sciences organizations' business and clinical decisions will be informed by AI insights, one-fifth will be undermined by a lack of business/clinical involvement.
  8. By 2023, human-machine collaboration and AI-driven interfaces will have revolutionized the future of work in one out of three health systems and hospitals.
  9. By 2024, wearables vendors will account for 20% of the worldwide hearing aid market for mild to moderate hearing loss.
  10. By 2025, 40% of hyperconnected innovation will be driven by large-scale social, health, and environmental goals and delivered via ecosystems that include industry players, academia, and government.

Also see:  IDC Healthcare Predictions for 2019.