Daniel Kivatinos, COO and Co-Founder of DrChrono
This is the year of the cloud. We’ve seen over time that the medical community is getting more and more comfortable embracing cloud software. Looking at some recent reports and statistics, you can see the mass adoption of cloud solutions is happening all around us. As I talk to the founders of companies, they agree there’s a massive change happening where medical centers and practices are moving to the cloud at a faster rate and with more ease than ever before. Cloud companies like Acronis, Ambra Health, NexHealth, Physitrack, and Updox are trending up and creating solutions for healthcare professionals to leverage.
Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence
Startups in this space such as Diagnoss, Holly by Nimblr, and Ada geared towards digital health are also on the rise. Diagnoss provides an AI medical coding assistant, Nimblr offers a multilingual AI assistant that automates patient communication/scheduling and Ada is a popular medical machine learning company that benefits the entire industry because it helps patients and medical professionals gather insights quickly about a patient. These companies are helping to reduce costs for medical practices and help lower the staff burden by having to do more work than necessary. Additionally, if you take a closer look at the funding behind this group of the tech sector, you will see large amounts of investment on the venture-capital side.
Many health IT software vendors battle for market share, keeping data siloed and this has slowed innovation in healthcare. Software vendors have been keeping patients and medical facility customers, hostage, by forcing the customers to stay with their software. Now with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), software vendors are opening their data to common communication languages such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). In my opinion, FHIR is the most widely accepted API standard and will continue to gain traction in 2020. Countless companies are starting to leverage FHIR according to the Argonaut implementation specifications, Apple, being the most notable. There is an incredible opportunity for innovation from APIs, and I see a brighter future where patients, medical professionals, and institutions will be able to share medical data at a much faster rate than ever before.
Internet of Things (IoT) AND Wearables
IoT companies are coming out with more health-related devices and software apps, such as wearable tattoos that can tell if you’ve had enough sun, IoT glucometers, and a blood pressure cuff that can track your sleep patterns. Also, it’s been in the press lately that Google bought Fitbit which will bring big change to the industry because this IoT wearable company will align with Google to become more of a health-focused company. Notable startups that I see as super innovate in the health tech space are Lief which is hardware for psychiatrists to remotely monitor patients and 100Plus smartwatch which monitors users’ heart activity.
Genomics is really becoming more commonplace with the rise of 23andMe and Ancestry.com. If you walk into Target or Walmart there are genomics tests available for purchase over the counter making these tests more accessible to everyone. Genomind is another great example of a company working in this space that allows physicians to gain more insights about what medications to give a patient based on their history and genetic background.