25 things to know about the biggest eTrends of 2015 and what they mean for the future

Though the healthcare industry has been slower to warm up to large scale adoption of technology than some others, it is proving transformational in terms of care outcomes and efficiency. Now the pace is picking up, but what does more rapid digital integration mean for healthcare in the near future?

A report by Accenture addresses this question by outlining five major trends. Together, these trends demonstrate the integral role that digital technology is playing in how the healthcare industry functions and evolves today and for decades to come.

Here are 25 important points and statistics to know, broken down by trend, from the report.

The Internet of Me

1. Much of the appeal of the internet lies in the power to personalize one's experience, according to the report. In light of this, the digitalization of healthcare will account for the patient's desire for a customizable, unique experience.

2. Of patients surveyed worldwide, 49 percent say they wear, or would be willing to wear, technology that measures and tracks their fitness, lifestyle and vital signs.

3. Of physicians surveyed, 16 percent say they routinely communicate electronically with their patients.

4. Of health executives surveyed, 73 percent say they are seeing a positive return on their investment in personalization technologies.

5. The ability to request nursing assistance such as pain medication or a blanket through an application or smart device is on the horizon. This will include real-time alerts via text message regarding blood pressure and other relevant individual markers.

Outcome Economy

6. To have true impact in the industry, the report notes, companies need to do more than deliver technology that makes traditional aspects of care electronic, those technologies need to be highly connected and deliver quantifiable results to bridge the gap between digital enterprise and the physical world.

7. Of health executives surveyed, 26 percent indicate their organization is using sensor data to monitor conditions and react to situations.

8. Of physicians surveyed, 85 percent say that their patients' use of wearable health devices helps patients engage in their own health.

9. Of patients surveyed, 76 percent feel that the use of technology to manage their health has potential to actually improve their health.

10. Applications and devices that guide the patient experience are on the horizon, from directing parking the moment patients are on hospital property to determining the quickest path to their destination.

Platform (R)evolution

11. The new and evolving platforms for data capturing, aggregation and organization comprise well-defined architecture, governance and services, according to the report. Platforms for care delivery will improve on the ability of existing systems to provide secure access to relevant information.

12. Of health executives surveyed, 41 percent strongly agree that the next generation of platforms will be led by industry players and leaders, rather than tech leaders.

13. The top reason that 54 percent of patients report using mobile phone apps is for health monitoring.

14. Of physicians surveyed, 51 percent said they are using electronic access to clinical data about a patient who has been seen by a different health organization.

15. More intelligent platforms that interact with patients to track symptoms and influence choices for positive impacts on individual health are on the horizon.

Intelligent Enterprise

16. The growing influx of data in the healthcare industry, along with the advances in processing power that allow for connected health devices and EHRs, isenabling improved clinical outcomes and more efficient operations.

17. Of health executives surveyed, 41 percent said the volume of data their organization manages has grown by more than 50 percent in the last year.

18. Access to EHR data related to physician notes is desired by 52 percent of patients.

19. Computerized clinical decision support systems are routinely used by 28 percent of physicians.

20. Electronic diagnosis via smartphones pictures and machines capable of detecting fever and other symptoms, as well as analytics used in hospitals to predict patient needs and emergency room volumes, are on the horizon.

Workforce Reimagined

21. Healthcare is beginning to embrace both people and machines as valuable team members as advances in technology are augmenting human work and improving effectiveness.

22. By the end of 2019, 66 percent of U.S. health systems will offer digital self-scheduling.

23. Companies will need to focus as much on training machines as on training people within three years, 45 percent of health executives say.

24. Of physicians surveyed, 87 percent said they search Google for medical information that helps advise patients.

25. Technology that enables patients to develop their own caregiving teams via social platforms, as well as ingestible or implantable devices for more precise health monitoring, are on the horizon.

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