- The global healthcare market will grow at a stable rate of 4.82%, a Frost & Sullivan analysis predicts.
- Key growth areas include product-as-a-service models that provide new revenue streams, cloud-based products and services, robotics for surgery and care assistance and smart hospitals.
- Cybersecurity will remain a major challenge as the number of cyberattacks on healthcare organizations is expected to double, the report says.
The Asia-Pacific region is leading the smart hospital movement, with about 3,200 smart hospital beds expected in South Korea, Australia and Singapore this year, according to Frost & Sullivan.
Despite interest in smart room technology, U.S. hospitals have been slow to adopt them, largely due to lack of capital or the infrastructure to support such visionary technologies. “Hospitals executives are often less excited about investing precious dollars on a ‘future’ of uncertain promise versus, say, regulatory and compliance projects that must be attended to now,” Paul Butler, a director at Top Tier Consulting, told Healthcare Dive in a 2016 interview.
Still, for hospitals that can afford it, smart patient rooms are the wave of the future. IBM and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center pioneered the concept back in 2005 with the idea their integrated technology would increase workflow efficiencies and improve patient care and satisfaction. When the 131-bed Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital opened in July 2015, it offered smart beds that tracked patients’ movements and patient interactive systems.
In the U.S., interest in telehealth services that support earlier diagnosis and reduced readmissions while holding down costs will increase, the report says.
The report also predicts this will be the year a major tech company sees successful return on investment in the FDA’s fast-track program for digital therapeutics and health apps. In September, the agency selected nine companies, including Apple and Google’s Verily subsidiary, to participate in its digital health software precertification pilot program.
But industry growth will be tempered by continued cyberattacks, despite growing investment aimed at preventing them, the report warns. Last year was particularly rough for hospitals and healthcare organizations, with multiple breaches and ransomware attacks, including the international WannaCry attack.
An August 2017 HIMSS survey suggests hospitals are stepping up their cybersecurity programs with discrete funding and dedicated staffs. However, a recent Black Book Market Research survey found about 80% of healthcare organizations still lack a chief cybersecurity officer, weakening enterprise-wide coordination of cybersecurity efforts.
“Even though 2017 was a year full of spectacular advancements in healthcare, 2018 will be the year of digital health technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), big data analytics, and robotics,” Kamaljit Behera, transformational health industry analysis for Frost & Sullivan, said in a statement.