Pick your medium: crystal ball, palm reading, pattern of coffee drips down the inside of an overturned cup — whatever you need for forecasting the future. Last year, it was the crystal ball that proved reasonably dependable. But here at Chilmark Research, not wanting to be static or get into a rut, we are moving on to the old, dependable deck of Tarot cards to make our predictions for 2023.
Health IT analytics solutions bifurcate
The first mode, one that Health Catalyst is going all in on, will have a high services (strategic outsourcing) component. RCM vendor R1 has been quite successful with this model. We see a transition to a company-wide business model similar to RCM vendor R1. The second is more of a self-serve model, wherein vendor provides deep end user training, coupled with a rich data analytic toolset (no code environment) for end user to query and iterate a data lake for critical insights.
Addressing SDOH to work towards health equity
We see signals that there is a growing interest in democratizing social determinants of health as more discussions about power, race, and gender arise regarding population health.
New economics of wearables and remote patient management (RPM) will develop as healthcare adopts edge computing. By the end of 2023, some 20% of the wearables/RPM market will operate in a hybrid-edge cloud computing model.
Virtual reality makes an impact in healthcare
Virtual reality (VR) is just getting started, but initial studies show promise in a number of healthcare use cases, from surgeon training to addressing PTSD and other behavioral health challenges. VR in healthcare will grow exponentially in 2023 to the tune of 300-400%. However, sustainable growth to support VR solution vendors will remain elusive, not arriving at any scale until the second half of 2024.
Retail will more aggressively step into RPM market
RPM solutions both B2B and B2C will be on the rise in 2023. Most likely, retail will step in as an assigned point of care access for B2C, and traditional providers will keep the B2B part with some inclusions. What remains in question is how large of a role retail pharmacy will play as the three leaders CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart have each announced intentions to assist with distributed clinical trials — a leading use case for RPM.
Retail steps up assault on traditional healthcare
Retailers like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens step up their investments and presence on multiple fronts of healthcare, ranging from wearables to prescription delivery to primary care, taking market share from existing structures and HCOs.
Foundation models/large language models make headway into conversational AI for healthcare
Some of the foundation models that are making headlines will begin to make their way into conversational AI solutions and RPA in 2023.
Despite the pandemic creating a strong case to invest in public health infrastructure to save lives and money, Congress will continue to show apathy and incompetence to address the problems.
The new House leadership will make a point of doing nothing to address public health needs as part of their anti-Fauci campaign and this will further deepen the crisis which is a joint public health and national security crisis.
QHIN does a face-plant
The latest iteration of a “National Health Information Network”, coming out of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is collection of uber HIEs — large aggregators (e.g., Epic, Health Gorilla) that will distribute and share patient data across the US. via connections with other QHINs. Despite good intentions, this one will arrive DOA crushed under bureaucratic weight and lack of a national patient identifier. It will be a miracle if it survives intact until end of 2023.
Elon Musk starts investing heavily in telehealth. By the end of 2023, Musk’s efforts culminate in telehealth being paired with both telepathy and teleportation to improve population health management and increase the percentage of healthy tweets on Twitter.
2023 sees innovative breakthrough to address the diabetes epidemic in the U.S.
This may be an implantable device, or it may be a federal program that leverages data and automated intervention alerts with care team supervision, or — most likely — a combination of technology tools. In some ways, technology will move the needle significantly on reducing the cost of diabetes care.
In seeking to maintain relevance, insuretech companies opt to double down on technology in 2023 using novel mechanisms to manage risk.
Members of insuretech plans will be encouraged to wear devices for discounts on their premiums. These wearables will capture metrics of relevance for improving population health outcomes, such as daily steps and movement, as well as weight, BP, O2, HR, and blood sugar, among others. Members with a chronic disease will be aggressively managed by care teams, with first-line communication being AI-driven.
Another year, another baker’s dozen of predictions for the year to come. Will those Tarot cards result in a higher prediction rate than this year’s? Only time will tell. Until then, we certainly invite your comments on these predictions and while you are at it, why not throw down a few predictions of your own.
This is my last bit of work before heading off to see family over the Christmas holiday. As I sign off, I hope you also have the opportunity to spend quality time with those you love and cherish over these holidays as we celebrate the slow lengthening of the days ahead.
Wishing you Joy & Peace
Founder, Chilmark Research