A Gartner expert points to AI and hospital-at-home as the biggest emerging technologies at HIMSS24 – Healthcare IT News

3 minutes, 37 seconds Read

It’s been a long week at HIMSS24, filled with educational sessions and an exhibit hall packed with the latest and greatest in healthcare information technology. Needless to say, artificial intelligence has dominated conversations.

Veronica Walk is senior director analyst, healthcare and life sciences, at consulting firm Gartner, where she specializes in emerging clinical technologies. On Monday, we asked Walk for an interview near the end of HIMSS24 week to gain her insights from her experience at the show. These are her expert observations.

Q. You specialize in emerging clinical technologies. What has been the most important emerging clinical technology you’ve seen at HIMSS24 this week, and why is it so important?

A. It’s impossible to deny the dominance of AI and generative AI, and how quickly the development and adoption of these technologies have accelerated even since HIMSS last year. We’ve gone from an existential debate over genAI during last year’s keynote to conversations focused on how to operationalize and scale these technologies in a way that controls for risk and delivers real value.

AI capabilities feature in nearly every vendor’s booth, especially the clinical technology solutions – and I think for one key reason – the potential for these technologies to reduce burden on the care team and increase clinical workforce capacity. Clinician burnout and workforce shortages are pervasive and persistent industry problems, and these technologies stand to really move the needle on these issues.

The initial use cases for genAI have been more focused on reducing administrative burdens, like clinical documentation, but there is also significant optimism for the potential of these technologies to improve clinical decision making and patient care.

Of course, these are higher risk use cases and more challenging to implement from a technical and organizational perspective, so I think we’ll continue to see slower progress on this front. That said, I’m excited to see what leaps and bounds we make between now and next year.

Q. What has been another key emerging clinical technology you’ve seen at HIMSS24 this week, and what role can it play for provider organizations?

A. Virtual care technologies aimed at delivering higher acuity care, such as virtual hospital or hospital at home, were also prevalent at the conference. One of the use cases gaining the most traction is virtual inpatient nursing where remote nurses support the bedside care team.

Again, this is being driven by the issues around clinician burnout and workforce shortages, especially in nursing. The results from some of these programs are incredible – significant reductions in nursing turnover rates, improved patient outcomes (including reduced adverse events and mortality), and improved patient satisfaction.

The technology options for virtual nursing have also proliferated over the last couple of years, and vendors are evolving their solutions to include more advanced capabilities, like ambient patient monitoring, and to enable a broader set of virtual care use cases.

Q. What should C-suite executives and other health IT leaders at provider organizations be keeping their eyes on in the year ahead?

A. With the proliferation of new solutions coming to market and the hype around them, it can be tempting to lead with technology – but it’s important to remember to lead with the organizational problems to solve or outcomes to achieve.

Clinician burnout is an obvious one, and increasingly technology will be a differentiator for clinician recruitment and retention. It’s also important to stay clear-eyed about the nascency of some of these technologies and the internal resources and effort it can take to successfully adopt.

One of the tools our Gartner clients use to assess emerging technologies is our Hype Cycles, which provide a visual representation of the anticipated benefit, maturity and adoption of each innovation. It’s a helpful tool for informing technology roadmaps and investment plans.

The organizations that have successfully implemented these emerging technologies take a very collaborative approach to vetting and implementing new solutions. At Gartner, we have observed that CIOs who partner with their executive peers (CxOs) to co-deliver new technologies are significantly more likely to realize value from those investments.

So, in the year ahead, CIOs and CxOs should be looking for opportunities to collaborate on their organization’s most pressing problems or objectives and evaluate opportunities to apply emerging technologies and then share accountability for success.

Follow Bill’s HIT coverage on LinkedIn: Bill Siwicki
Email him: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

This post was originally published on this site

Similar Posts