In a new survey by Reaction Data, telemedicine and artificial intelligence (AI) are seen as the top tech innovations that will have the most disruptive impact on healthcare.
Twenty-nine percent of healthcare executives who participated in the survey said that telemedicine will be the biggest disruptor, followed by AI (selected by 20 percent of respondents), interoperability (15 percent), data analytics (13 percent), mobile data (11 percent), cloud (3 percent), and blockchain (2 percent).
Interestingly, telemedicine, AI, and mobile data combined accounted for 60 percent of the responses on the most disruptive technology.
“The possibilities of uses are virtually limitless with technological progression, especially at the recent pace of technological advancement. These three [AI, mobile, telehealth], particularly when used in tandem, can analyse and evaluate the status of a patient from anywhere, at any time, and transmit that data back to a provider who can then communicate recommendations to patients on their mobile devices,” according to one chief networking officer interviewed by Reaction Data.
Although telemedicine leads in terms of impact, half of respondents said it has had a financially neutral impact for them. Only 14 percent have seen a positive financial effect, thus far. Still, respondents said this tech innovation has been beneficial in allowing them to see more patients and deliver simpler and more cost-effective care.
“Tele-office visits are beginning to reduce the workload of primary care physicians, who are in short supply in the USA. IBM will be the behind the scenes driver of these new methods of population health management and decreased need for clinical services,” one chief financial officer commented.
Meanwhile, healthcare leaders listed several areas where AI will have a measurable impact on their organisations: imaging, data mining, performing repetitive jobs, drug creation, precision medicine, and system analysis.
When the healthcare execs were asked to identify which companies would be most disruptive for the healthcare industry, 59 percent named Amazon as the most disruptive. Apple came in second place (14 percent), followed by Google (8 percent), Microsoft (7 percent), and IBM (4 percent).
Apparently, the lack of enthusiasm for blockchain in the Reaction Data survey runs counter to the industry buzz.
Deloitte recently conducted a survey of healthcare IT execs who said that blockchain would significantly improve visibility of value-based care payments and reduce fraud, waste, and abuse.
Eighty-four percent of IT executives surveyed by Deloitte, believed blockchain-based solutions were more secure than traditional systems. But only 21 percent cited improved security and lower risk to data as the most significant benefit of blockchain adoption.
Deloitte noted that the healthcare industry has changed its view of blockchain significantly over the past year.
Companies are optimistic that blockchain will enhance industry collaboration and efficiency through increased data sharing. These expectations may soon be realised as blockchain technology increasingly shifts from a theoretical solution to a practical, tangible one.
“Momentum is shifting from a focus on learning and exploring the potential of blockchain to identifying and building practical business applications. It just may not be happening when and where we expected,” Deloitte said.
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