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2019 healthcare IT trends: A look ahead

Cyber threats, AI software and the IoT will all make waves in healthcare IT next year.

Cyber threats, AI software and the IoT will all make waves in healthcare IT next year.

The year is quickly coming to a close, which means it's time for healthcare IT directors everywhere to turn their attention toward 2019. Although 2019 IT budgets should be finalized at this point, IT leaders need to keep their eyes on emerging trends and plan accordingly.

The healthcare industry moves pretty quickly at times, and it can be tough to keep up with all the changes in technology, policy and regulation. To help you out, we've compiled a list of some of the most important IT trends that are likely to dominate the healthcare field in 2019:

Phishing attacks continue unabated

When it comes to cybercrime methods, phishing is a golden oldie. However, phishing attacks remain as effective as ever, thanks to increasingly sophisticated tactics that make it more difficult for cybercrime targets to separate legitimate and malicious communications.

"Cybersecurity posture is a year-round commitment."

Mobile users, in particular, appear to be at risk: According to security provider Lookout, the success rate of mobile phishing attacks has risen 85 percent year over year since 2011. Add in sophisticated, social engineering-enabled spear phishing attacks, and you have a recipe for deep concern.

Maintaining a robust cybersecurity posture is a year-round commitment, so be sure to spend some time this holiday season assessing your current setup, identifying security gaps and shoring up your defenses.

The IoT comes into its own

Healthcare analysts have been building up the Internet of Things' reputation for a while now, leaving some to wonder if the IoT will ever truly arrive? According to some prognostications, the IoT should have an 87 percent adoption rate among healthcare organizations by now.

Well, 2019 could be the year that the IoT finally makes its mark on the healthcare industry.

With the widespread use of medical devices, the healthcare community is almost tailor-made for the Internet of Things. Using connected machines and IP-enabled equipment, physicians could more closely monitor patient vitals to flag risk factors earlier and provide better treatment with less invasive procedures.

As the industry continues to shift toward a more preventive treatment model, the IoT will more than prove its value giving primary physicians an upfront view of their patients' health.

The Internet of Things can help medical providers offer more hands-on, preventive treatment options.
The Internet of Things can help medical providers offer more hands-on, preventive treatment options.

AI improves patient diagnosis

If you want to see the front lines of healthcare technology innovation for yourself, you'll probably need to hop on a plane and fly to China. Researchers in that country continue to develop and test new applications for some of the most advanced technology available, including artificial intelligence.

Several Chinese corporations have created AI-enabled software that is capable of diagnosing various ailments faster than even a seasoned radiologist could, and often with higher accuracy rates.

The latest innovation comes courtesy of Chinese conglomerate Tencent and London-based medical firm Medopad. The pair recently developed an AI program that could diagnose Parkinson's disease within three minutes simply by analyzing footage of patients' hands. As the BBC noted, a typical motor function assessment takes more than 30 minutes to complete.

Furthermore, because the software relies on video rather than sensor information, a diagnosis could theoretically be conducted without the patient and physician even needing to meet in person.

As 2019 unfolds, look for more developments in this field – and potentially even the first real-world rollout.

Regardless of what healthcare IT trends ultimately cause waves in the healthcare industry next year, a trusted IT services provider can help you stay on the technological cutting edge. For the best IT services NYC has to offer, contact TEKConn today.