The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer and it’s time for one of the most sacred rites of spring –March Madness. As you follow your Final Four picks, take a few moments to think about some of the top seeds in healthcare technology featured on our newest HIT List, including the IoT, Health-as-a-Service (HaaS) and patient-generated health data.

  1. Betting on the IoT. By 2019, 87% of healthcare organizations worldwide will have adopted IoT technology, a new study reports. Currently, the IoT is most popular for patient monitors, energy meters and x-ray and imaging devices. Benefits include more innovation, improved visibility and cost savings. However, security remains a top concern, given that 89% of providers suffered an IoT-related security breach.
  2. Securing the IoT. IoT expansion brings new vulnerabilities and risk of patient harm. For example, an unencrypted wireless connection between an insulin pump and its remote provides a potential opening for hackers to control insulin injections – or access an entire hospital system. Take a closer look at five steps hospitals can take to beef up IoT security, including authentication, a secure boot and a data dictionary.
  3. Coming soon: HaaS. Time to expand your thinking from the likes of Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service to the all-encompassing Health-as-a-Service. This health economist and “trend weaver” envisions an always-on network that supports an array of devices, apps and digital tools including scales, activity trackers, smart beds, sleep tech, digital home assistants and even connected cars. The idea is to analyze the volumes of data generated by the network and use it to nurture health and wellness for individuals everywhere they live, work or play.
  4. Data deluge. Nearly 60% of patients are bringing health data with them to office visits – whether or not their doctors have asked them to. And nearly two-thirds of them discover that their doctors are more engaged as a result. Thanks to mobile health and fitness devices and other technology, patients are finding it easier than ever to collect and share their data. Check out the six barriers providers need to overcome to make better use of patient-generated health data.
  5. Missing the mark on cybersecurity. The healthcare industry has plenty of room to improve when it comes to reducing cybersecurity vulnerabilities, new research shows. One report gave healthcare a risk assessment grade of 54%, down 18% from last year, while another ranked it 9th in overall security compared to other industries. The total number of reported breaches affecting at least 500 Americans skyrocketed by about 300% from 2014 to 2016, and healthcare has been averaging one data breach per day so far in 2017. Then there’s the cost of breaches – an estimated $6.2 billion annually. No wonder more than 80% of healthcare organizations plan to increase data security spending this year.
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