(Big) Garbage In. (Big) Garbage Out.

flying cadeucii

In December, THCB asked industry insiders and pundits across health care to give us their armchair quarterback predictions for 2015. What tectonic trends do they see looming on the horizon? What’s overrated? What nasty little surprises do they see lying in wait? What will we all be talking about this time next year? Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring their responses in a series of quick takes.

Joe DeSantis, Vice President of HealthShare Platforms, InterSystems

Information Exchange is dead. Long live Information Exchange: There was a lot of talk in 2014 about the failure of information exchange. When people take a closer look, they are going to see there are actually some good examples of this working and changing how care is delivered. We’ll see lots more examples in 2015.

(Big) garbage in, (big) garbage out: People are looking to big data and analytics to tackle population health and other problems. They will soon find that without addressing data quality and conditioning up front, the results will be disappointing at best. This will be the year of clean data.

Keep it simple: The mobile revolution has not yet had the impact on healthcare that it has had in other sectors. Recreating desktop applications on a phone is not the answer, nor are retreads of messaging standards. We will have to rethink how healthcare information is presented and used.

One portal, please: Everyone agrees that patient engagement is essential – but giving me four separate portals, six more for my wife and three more for my mother makes me enraged, not engaged! Thought leaders will begin to realize that patient engagement must be built atop true information sharing.

Tom Giannulli MD, MS – Chief Medical Information Officer, Kareo

The need for increased patient engagement and involvement in health and wellness are shifting the priorities in health IT.  We see the market turning towards population health driven care management and patient engagement solutions to reduce risk and improve practice economics. This includes wearables, which will become more popular as the next generation of health-related functionality is introduced, and they are integrated into the HIT landscape. Mobile devices, in general, will also pay a bigger role in healthcare delivery by providers and by patients. Expect everyone to be more connected in the healthcare landscape and to see more data coming from patients using new apps and devices into the wellness conversation.

We also talked to Trey Lauderdale, Founder and CEO of Voalte

BYOD goes big: This is the year when every hospital will develop a comprehensive physician communication strategy. We will see consolidation and acquisitions of small companies that offer BYOD solutions for secure text messaging, and clear winners in this space will emerge.

Alarming deadlines: The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goal mandates that hospitals establish policies and procedures for managing alarms by 2016. That makes this the year for alarm middleware companies such as Connexall. Watch for technologies that alleviate alarm fatigue and streamline a multitude of alarms and alerts from physiologic monitors and nurse call systems.

Android domination: Hospitals will increasingly look to Android as the enterprise smartphone platform. The Android operating system has proven to be more suitable in the hospital environment, making new smartphones from companies such as Spectralink and Motorola the products to watch in 2015.