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The Healthcare Tech Hospitals Need to Focus On

Photo: Courtesy of Alvin Leopold

As the founder of Healthcare Scene, a network that consists of 10 healthcare IT and electronic health record blogs, John Lynn is a leading healthcare futurist and tech influencer. We asked him about the advancements in healthcare tech he’s keeping an eye on, and what they mean for the future of our health system.


John Lynn

Founder, Healthcare Scene

Over the past year, where have you seen technology make the biggest impact in terms of the way patients access care?

The biggest change we’ve seen is the confluence of a number of technologies.  The first is our ability to communicate with anyone at any time thanks to a smartphone in our pocket and the ability to text.  The second is the amount of data we have available to us. Third is the growth of AI and the processing power that’s needed to be able to make sense of the data. 

When you combine these three items together, it has opened up new doors to care for patients. The past year just forced us to use all of these technologies to push care to the home. It overcame the bureaucracy and fears that many had about changing the model of care.

The last year also shared some of the disparities that exist as well. However, if implemented properly, more patients will have access to lower cost care in a modality that works for their unique situations.

What kind of technology should healthcare providers be prioritizing today? 

The top thing healthcare organizations can prioritize today is what technologies will help them to have better relationships with their patients. Clinicians have done amazing work in the office, but the future is going to depend on how well they leverage technology to extend that relationship outside the office. Having a communication channel and relationship with your patients is going to be key to success in the future.

Are the existing telehealth platforms in the industry set up to be user-friendly and convenient enough for an older demographic? 

There are hundreds of telehealth technologies, so it’s impossible to make a broad statement about how user-friendly they are or are not for the older demographic. What we have seen is that age is less of an issue for telehealth than many had thought previously. Most telehealth solutions are simple enough that the older demographic can use them. Plus, many of their caregivers can help them navigate the telehealth solutions as well. The good news is that telehealth will continue to get better now that more people are using it.

What will healthcare look like in the next five years?

For most traditional healthcare organizations, the next five years will look very similar to before.  However, while they continue on their traditional path, we’re going to see a large number of startup companies, retail healthcare, and national healthcare brands that start to chop off various portions of healthcare as we know it. As these new entrants take over the highly profitable segments of patients, it’s going to be a challenge for healthcare organizations to adapt and change their business models.

The good news for patients is they will have a number of new options to choose from when it comes to how they access healthcare. Some will turn to new primary care models. Others will turn to telehealth.  Some will want to go with the national brands that provide a better consumer than their local healthcare system. Patients’ expectations will change and a more consumer-like experience will be expected.

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