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Top 5 Technology Trends in Healthcare – October 2013

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

 HCBlog Top5 Trends

Mobile Medical Applications

Last month, the FDA released its final guidance for developers of mobile medical applications. The FDA will focus on regulating potentially harmful apps instead of policing applications that pose minimal risk to consumers. These more harmful apps include those which are using mobile technology to make a specific diagnosis and those which transform mobile devices into a regulated medical device.

Patient Engagement and Connected Health

With the progression of patient engagement, consumers are looking to become involved in their own care and health. The quantified-self movement helps patients track their health, physical activity, food consumption, heart rate, and more. From mobile apps to worn digital sensors like the FitBit to implanted devices, patients keep track of their own health data – which eventually may be used to create a more personalized experience.

Sluggish Adoption of Healthcare IT

The healthcare industry is experiencing an ongoing reluctance or sluggish adoption of healthcare IT by providers. This industry is chronically slow to move to new technologies, as is evident in the struggle to move from paper records to EMRs. Meaningful Use, ICD-10, Accountable Care Organizations, and HIEs have all experienced a pushback from providers and vendors.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Struggle

In order to be eligible for federal subsidies, providers must meet meaningful use regulations. Hospitals and physicians have less than one year to meet the MU Stage 2 requirements, which many are contesting due to the aggressive schedule. Additionally, many vendors are encountering problems getting their EHRs certified for Meaningful Use.

HIPAA and Privacy Challenges

Over 15 years ago, in response to an increase in the abuse of personal health information (PHI), HIPAA was established to protect the privacy of patients and prevent improper disclosure and use of information. HIPAA rules set limits and conditions on uses of PHI, establish national standards to protect electronic PHI, put in place standards for notification of breaches, and improve patient safety. Violation of these rules or a breach can result in a fine or lawsuit.

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