5 Health Trends to Keep Your Eyes on in 2017

Artificial intelligence, emancipating role of health care consumers, and genetic testing are some of the trends to expect in 2017 Hubert Zajicek says.

health trends

While the top news headline likely will remain the anticipated repeal of the Affordable Care Act and its consequences, said consequences may turn out to be far less sensational.

Health care will remain a top concern for all who deliver care, and nobody will go without care all of a sudden. The top trends underlying the previous years will continue to be of interest. Of all, health IT will continue to play a big role in all aspects of health Innovation.

No. 1 — Disease management, artificial intelligence, and population health tools are of interest to big governments, but equally to big (self-insured) corporations, large insurers, and the government-sponsored health payers. It is in all of our interests to keep working on improvements in these areas, no matter what payment system.

The health care consumer will continue to “emancipate” and demand more service, more amenities, and more control. 

No. 2 — The health-care consumer will continue to “emancipate” and demand more service, more amenities, and more control. Factors that play a role here are an improvement in access through telemedicine, more awareness through wearables, and more knowledge through patient-owned EHRs (Electronic Health Records).

No. 3 — Precision medicine and genetic testing, while still early, will continue to attract the interest of investors and patients with a near endless list of possibilities in the way and form in which we treat certain diseases. We may also find ways to exploit previously abandoned drugs-in-development as well as safely treat those for whom companion diagnostic tests have determined that they would benefit and not be harmed by them.

No. 4 — Ever more sophisticated imaging technologies, the Internet of things with wearables and other connected devices, genetic tests, video consultations, and ever growing data sets will continue to drive a huge demand for cloud storage and computing, which means that data security and interoperability concerns will rank high on the lists of must-haves for 2017.

No. 5 — Bundled payments for standard procedures, value-based care, consolidation and collaborations between hospitals and others, and vertical integration of the delivery of care will round out some of the trends that 2017 brings to us.

All these trends bode well for health-care startups and Dallas-Forth Worth has lots to offer innovation and startup-wise. Don’t expect better and more affordable health care to ever fall out of fashion. The measure by which we decide what is more affordable (population health based, for instance), may very well be the only change.

Hard not to be optimistic, when you are around health innovators, who pursue the betterment of health care and the creation of successful health-care startups, right here in Dallas, every day.

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R E A D   N E X T

Hubert Zajicek, MD, MBA, is CEO and co-founder of Health Wildcatters, a healthcare seed fund and accelerator in Dallas. Health Wildcatters provides mentorship, capital and guidance to up to 12 healthc(...)