The 'Next Big Thing' Won't Be a Thing

The Next Big Thing

The “next big thing” will not be a thing. It will not be a standalone piece of technology or software solution. The next big thing in healthcare will be a something that goes beyond making a process efficient and timely – but makes it also delightful.

Technology Is No Longer an “Other”

Not that long ago, we lived in a world where technology was something “other” – something big and separate from our daily lives. Thirty years ago we started to invite computers into our home, and 10 years ago, we began carrying mini-computers (smartphones) in our pockets.

In that same timeframe, the healthcare industry has implemented not just electronic health records, but digital systems for everything from imaging to telehealth. Just as technology has become ubiquitous in our daily lives, it has also become an integral part of how we deliver and receive healthcare.

It used to be that trade shows were the place to discover the next big thing. That thing was an object or tool that would create efficiency, save both money and time and potentially disrupt status quo. Technology is no longer an other. Technology is integral to how we live our lives and how we walk through the world. Chatting with HIMSS Chief Executive Officer, Hal Wolf, he agreed that as technology permeates every aspect of life, HIMSS becomes more and more about healthcare itself.

Solutions for Tomorrow

We are at a very exciting time in healthcare, where implementation of new tools has been fast and furious – but it has come with a price. Providers are frustrated and concerned about tools that cost them time and get in the way of providing care. Patients are frustrated that computers sit between them and providers during the times in their lives when they most need a provider to look them in the eyes. The innovations expected to decrease the friction for both of these stakeholders are the ones that are going to push us to the next level of care.

The solutions of tomorrow will be the ones that are built with process and function in mind. They will be the solutions co-created with patients, end users, researchers and data scientists. They will be the solutions that look beyond how we have always done things and look forward into what are the best ways to do things.

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The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.

Updated July 23, 2018