the health care sector will start to feel the pressure of real patient centered healthcare brought on by the trifecta of the smartphone becoming the EMR, patients treating patients (p2p medicine), and real market economies entering health care (people paying for their own healthcare). this is a megatrend that will take decades to fully play out but we will see the start of it in 2015.
All of these predictions are spot on, of course -- the patient will become more and more in control of their care.
But if you talk to the people on the ground you'll find that these things aren't really being talked about or worked on at the provider level.
Case in point, John Halamka, the CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, considered one of the most innovative thought leaders in healthcare technology, wrote a post the other day reviewing some of the key health IT issues on his plate during 2014 with some predictions for 2015. In short, he's focused on implementing software that will facilitate accountable care workflows inspired the Affordable Care Act; meeting government electronic medical record adoption standards (Meaningful Use); and complying with government regulations around the protection and security of personal health information (HIPAA).
These are very different things than the things that guys like Fred Wilson are thinking and talking about. Venture Capitalists are completely focused on the patient. Real world healthcare operators (CIOs) are primarily focused on meeting government requirements.
This disconnect -- or, at least, that degree of separation from the patient -- isn't the fault of CIOs; they have no choice but to focus on the urgent and intense demands coming from the government to ensure that they continue to receive government incentives and avoid penalties.
Venture Capitalists are focused on where healthcare technology and the patient are going (e.g. where the money will be). Given the intense regulation, health system CIOs don't have that luxury.
All of that said, for the most part, I think government intervention into healthcare IT has been a good thing. Healthcare execs are totally focused on efforts to increase quality and reduce cost. Most stakeholders (providers, payers, regulators) have gotten behind value based care payment models -- the winds are all going in that direction. And providers are now fully onboard with electronic medical record adoption (at last check ~80% of providers are using them). None of this could've happened this quickly without government intervention.
But now that the groundwork is laid, it's time for the government to back off a bit and let the market start to drive more of the innovation in healthcare IT. Providers need the room to move their businesses and IT investments away from meeting the requirements of restricting, top-down government initiatives and closer to providing tools that are centered-on and built around the needs and desires of the patient.