A new report released by MeriTalk reveals the results of a survey of more than 151 decision makers in U.S. hospitals. The study looked into the potential impact of Big Data, mobile, cloud, and social media technologies on the delivery of health care in this country. While the report indicates that these industry leaders expect that significant savings will be realized over time, at the present moment 96% of them indicated that their infrastructure is not prepared to incorporate these advances into their existing electronic medical record (EMR) systems.
The potential savings are enormous, according to the company’s press release. The savings from Big Data adoption is expected to cut costs by $7.2 billion in 2016. Cloud services are expected to save $6.9 billion, mobile applications $5.5 billion, and social media $3.8 billion within that same time frame. Already, healthcare professionals are seeing improvements in reduced readmissions and more effective treatment outcomes. The problem is that a great deal of infrastructure investment — including more secure systems for handling patient information — are required before the potential savings can be realized.
It is clear that the new technology, including wearable Health Tech devices, will result in more data that can be used by more healthcare professionals in more ways and more efficiently. It is essential that we have the systems in place to take advantage of that potential, while minimizing any risks involved.