So much for the future, but what are informatics healthcare leaders focused on right now?
The answer would appear to be telehealth, which takes two forms. Healthcare professional-to-healthcare professional telehealth encompasses activities such as consulting virtually with other healthcare professionals, sharing images and recommending treatment plans, while healthcare professional-to-patient telehealth, covers consultation via video calls or patient portals. Currently around two-thirds (68%) of informatics healthcare leaders are investing in any form of telehealth; 56% for healthcare professional-to-healthcare professional telehealth and 43% for healthcare professional-to-patient telehealth (43%). Unlike the early adopter phase for value-based care, it appears that telehealth is already going mainstream, representing a foundation for healthcare digitalization that is being invested in now. Potentially because they have invested in telehealth heavily over the past few years, around a third (31%) of the informatics healthcare leaders surveyed said they expect to invest in telehealth technology three years from now.
Having laid the foundations for digitalization, it appears their attention will soon turn to predictive healthcare technologies, such as AI. Almost a third (32%) are currently investing in some form of AI and well over three-quarters (84%) say they want to invest in the technology within the next three years.
“The AI capabilities healthcare informatics leaders expect to invest in are for both administrative purposes such as operational efficiency optimization, as well as clinical tasks such as diagnosis, outcome prediction, and clinical decision support,” said Calum Cunningham, General Manager of Enterprise Diagnostic Informatics at Philips. “Nevertheless, they also highlight several challenges that need to be overcome, including staff inexperience with new technology, data interoperability, data privacy and security, and reimbursement models.”