The months leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio have certainly been filled with angst, anticipation and controversy, but the action finally gets underway with Friday’s opening ceremonies. In honor of the dedicated athletes who will be dazzling viewers the world over, our HIT List salutes some of the champions of healthcare technology, from predictive analytics to MACRA to good old infrastructure.

  1. Fulfilling IoT’s promise. Eager for predictive analytics, population health management and remote patient monitoring, the healthcare industry ranks among the earliest adopters and top users of the IoT. But 42% of participants in a recent poll said the IoT produces too much data to analyze efficiently and 28% believe it’s hard to capture IoT data reliably. The tight regulatory environment and poor interoperability pose additional challenges to leveraging the IoT. Apparently there’s still a ways to go before the industry fully capitalizes on the IoT’s potential to cut costs and improve care.
  2. Making sense of MACRA. Under the new MACRA — Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act — rules, physicians can earn bonuses or be penalized based on performance to clinical quality measures. That means collecting data and continually analyzing it will be critical to physician reimbursement. Check out these 10 things every provider should know about MACRA.
  3. Infrastructure first. Senior living communities seeking to adopt technology that improves the lives of residents and staff need to choose carefully to make sure it’s the best fit. But first and foremost, CDW Healthcare’s Ginna Baik points out that they need to invest in sufficient infrastructure to support their technology well into the future. See why the experts think more is better when it comes to building the right tech foundation.
  4. Virtually reducing pain. Virtual reality (VR) tools may be the next breakthrough in pain and anxiety management. For example, a game that requires patients to throw balls at cartoon bears has lowered pain levels 24% in hospital pilot studies, similar to narcotics results. With abuse of pain medications dangerously high these days, a VR alternative sounds particularly promising.
  5. Room to improve. Nearly 80% of security IT leaders said defensive infrastructure to identify and mitigate external threats was either non-existent, ad hoc or inconsistently applied in their organizations. Although the Ponemon Institute study ranked the healthcare industry one of the least prepared, security professionals across all industries acknowledged a serious need for more staff expertise, technology and external services to thwart cyberattacks. With respondents reporting more than one attack per month and annual costs of $3.5 million, there’s no time to waste.
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