10 Key Healthcare IT trends for 2018 in LATAM (II)
The previous article discussed the analysis of trends for health technologies in 2018. We emphasized the importance of interoperable Electronic Medical Records allowing hospitals to share health data and the relevance of an election year in many countries in the region.
We will discuss the following three trends in this article.
4. Moderate, but steady growth of the Electronic Medical Record in the cloud
The modern software subscription model will grow moderately and steady with the Electronic Medical Record in the cloud, especially in the segment of small and medium-sized private hospitals, propelled by its economic and financial benefits.
Public systems, which could benefit greatly from Cloud models – would at first adjust to their budgetary reality and deficit of technologic infrastructure – face the limitations of their respective contracting rules and the mistrust that the cloud technology generates due to the lack of actual knowledge on its data security.
According to the study on the “Adoption of Cloud Computing in Latin American Hospitals” recently made by the eHealth Reporter, nine out of ten participants were open to employing cloud computing in their organizations.
The cloud is no longer solely a thing of the future and is increasingly part of the present, but its growth in hospitals and health centers in the region will be gradual and quite slow.
5. Enthusiastic growth of using health-oriented mobile applications
Mobile technology is boosting innovation in the sector, from the doctor that designs an app for their specialty, the student that creates a mobile application as final course work, to startups that find a mechanism in technology to create the disruption of existing models.
However, the immense majority of mobile applications in the sector suffer from the same evil, they work isolated and disconnected from information systems, service providers or public institutions/organizations, which makes their actual impact in health management lower than expected.
6. Momentum for public-private collaboration/association (APP) in different countries and new focuses
In 2018 and in the following years, the deficit of hospital infrastructures in the region will continue to require public/private collaboration models (APP), but one must pay attention to the stance of newly-elected governments in relation to this model.
Even if there is room for technologic initiatives in APP models, the application of the model continues to be the construction of “classic” hospitals or health centers.
Our forecast is that we will begin to see a few APP initiatives with clinical-technologic focuses, though one must consider the degree of enthusiasm or apprehension that these initiatives will generate with governments and public opinion.
7. Growing interest and curiosity regarding big data technologies, artificial intelligence and IoT
Many speak but few act. We dare say our region will see a lot of big data/AI/IoT in events and congresses, but few initiatives that use the technology with actual purpose, both in the clinical and in the administrative contexts.
For that matter, there is no reason to exaggerate: experimenting and pilot projects is a good ice-breaker to explore these technologies, as it occurs in developed countries.
Universities and research centers in the region have the opportunity to bring innovation to real issues in the hospital sector, if they seek to create innovative ecosystems for medicine, engineering, robotics, material technology, genetics, computer science, neuroscience and other realms of knowledge to benefit from so-called exponential technologies.
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