What's next? 5 predictions for the healthcare supply chain in 2019

As the supply chain ecosystem evolves in 2019, healthcare leaders must focus on collaboration and purpose to ensure optimization, according to Steve Dowse, senior vice president of product management for supply chain solutions provider Blume Global.

Mr. Dowse's predictions for the healthcare supply chain next year:

1. Rising tariffs. Increasing tariffs on various products will remain a concern for the healthcare industry, forcing "the C-suite to rethink its current manufacturing strategies and global operations."

2. Emergence of artificial intelligence. AI and machine learning will fill the gap between information and optimization, harnessing and analyzing data generated by connected medical devices.  

3. On-demand freight. Uber Freight and other new platforms will push more truckers and less-than-truckload carriers into the gig economy. This may affect speed of delivery.

4. Competitive advantages. Supply chains that have access to data, AI and machine learning may begin to see a competitive advantage in the market.

5. The move to orchestration.  Orchestration is the process of arranging and coordinating automated tasks to consolidate a process or workflow. With advanced technology, "organizations will become poised to move from automation to orchestration," Mr. Dowse said.

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