Top 10 connected health predictions 2014

Social media, wearable sensors and "little data" are poised to make big strides in 2014.

And they all fit under the umbrella term connected health, which analyst house IDC defines as "a broad spectrum of technologies that use telecommunications to facilitate the exchange of health information and delivery of care across a geographic distance as well as manage chronic conditions and promote health and wellness."

While adoption of connected health tools has been slowed by a combination of lacking consumer awareness and a limited reimbursement by payers, IDC executives said, that appears to be changing.

Indeed, the industry has seen incredible growth in the past two years, according to Lynne A. Dunbrack, research vice president for IDC Health Insights.

[Related: Will consumers help home health monitoring tools catch on?]

"There's a lot going on here," Dunbrack added. That would include a shift to consumer-directed care; a shortage of healthcare providers; changes in reimbursement and care delivery; an influx of some 30 million consumers under the Affordable Care Act; the development of less-expensive and more efficient monitoring devices; and a move toward population health management, which places more of an emphasis on health and wellness.

And there’s more to come in the next 12 months. Dunbrack's 10 predictions for 2014:

1. mHealth, telehealth and social media will combine to evolve into the new healthcaredelivery model.

2. BYOD will come to health monitoring, and smartphones will become biosensors.

3. Wearables and embedded sensors will move into the mainstream.

4. The mHealth app formulary will lead to prescribed apps.

5. Value-based healthcare will move care delivery from the traditional care setting out into the community.

6. Retail clinics will become a disruptive force in U.S. healthcare

7. By 2016, 30 percent of all U.S. healthcare organizations will have achieved the repeatable stage of the IDC Mobile Maturity Model

8. HIE solutions will be repositioned for population health

9. "Little data" from connected health devices and M2M connectivity will create new opportunities for so-called "big data" and analytics

10. Certain healthcare organizations will experiment with Google Glass



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