A new year, a new opportunity to take your technology to the next level. Our first HIT List of 2017 is chock-full of inspiration, from innovative Big Data population health applications, to interoperability-improving APIs, to independence-supporting smart home gadgets. Whatever your goals, good luck getting there!

  1. Big opportunity for Big Data. The global healthcare IoT market is already projected to reach nearly $137 billion by 2021, fueled by wearables, implantables and other sensor devices. Forward-thinking scientist-entrepreneurs are now trying to integrate Big Data, the IoT and algorithms in next-gen population health solutions. For example, one company is focused on helping people recover from – or prevent – injury in the workplace, clinical situations and elite athletics. Another aims to give frontline health workers technology tools and real-time data to reduce child mortality. Let’s hear it for actionable insights.
  2. Embrace the IoT. Healthcare organizations are not yet as optimistic as other industries about the benefits IoT can bring. Part of the problem is the need to better manage extremely large data sets. Other challenges include convincing patients to adopt IoT tools that could improve their health – and ensuring there’s a secure way for them to do that. But where there’s a will, no doubt there’s a way.
  3. Thriving-in-place. It’s time to shift the “aging-in-place” discussion to one about “thriving-in-place” for all people, says this architecture professor. With 61% of homeowners over the age of 55 planning to stay in their homes for the foreseeable future, it’s time to start thinking about smart home technology as a practical necessity rather than a luxury convenience. Check out the top seven smart-home gadgets that can provide comfort, convenience and safety to older Americans – and their younger counterparts, too.
  4. API power. Although widely used in banking and retail, application programming interfaces (APIs) are still relatively new to healthcare. But APIs can empower patients by making it easier for them to get, use and share their EHR data with multiple providers in multiple care settings. See what action steps private and public stakeholders need to take to promote healthcare API use – and help advance much-desired data interoperability.
  5. Sky-high growth. The ever-expanding need to store, manage and process huge data sets including radiology images, genomic data and EHRs is driving healthcare cloud computing growth. The global market – including clinical and non-clinical applications – is expected to reach more than $7 billion by 2023, with a CAGR of over 20%. As always, the challenge is meeting the rigorous requirements for security, data availability and confidentiality.
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