10 Insurance Technology Trends in Health IT

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X by 2 Highlights What Healthcare Executives Need to Know to Succeed in 2016

X by 2
Healthcare technology is shaking things up faster than ever before. Whether it’s the quicker pace or technology-resistant providers, it’s crucial for leaders to stay educated and up-to-speed on the industry’s top developments.

X by 2, a technology consultancy focused on the practice of architecture for the insurance and healthcare industries, today announced 10 insurance technology trends that will impact health IT in 2016.

Healthcare technology is shaking things up faster than ever before. Whether it’s the quicker pace or technology-resistant providers, it’s crucial for leaders to stay educated and up-to-speed on the industry’s top developments.

Here are 10 insurance technology trends that should be top of mind for 2016:

1.    Adoption of hybrid cloud will continue to grow: As organizations re-evaluate their data infrastructure, augmenting existing data centers with cloud-based services will be an economical and safe proposition.

2.    Outsourcing will continue and expand its reach: Beyond the usual IT developer and tester jobs, the share of data scientist positions that move abroad will increase.

3.    Rise of the data lake: Healthcare data is fairly heterogeneous, ranging from legacy system files to messages from wearable devices. For any sizable organization embarking on new BI initiatives, architectures that provide massive scalability while simultaneously feeding traditional Enterprise Data Warehouses (EDW) and exploratory analytics sandboxes carry enormous appeal. This also means that Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) processes for exchanging data between systems will continue to rise in importance.

4.    Shadow IT will continue to pose new challenges and opportunities for CIOs: With cloud-based technologies enabling a separation of lines-of-business from IT, shadow IT will pose new governance and security challenges. However, new ways of collaboration between business and IT will also arise.

5.    Open-source will continue to make inroads: Microsoft's recent acceptance of open-source technologies such as Hadoop, Spark and D3.js in its DBMS and BI offerings is a clear indication that vendors are having a hard time keeping closed-source software competitive. Traditionally, healthcare IT companies have held a conservative view on open-source software due to its weak support model and hard-to-find skill-set. CIOs should take note of trends like this and lower the barriers to entry for open-source technologies in healthcare IT.

6.    R will catch up to SAS: For data scientists and business users, there's a lot to look forward in 2016, as R is going to be deeply integrated into the Microsoft SQL Server stack. Furthermore, Apache Spark has already completed its integration with R. This could mean an upsurge of R use for modeling and prototyping, and potentially for production purposes as well.

7.    Reactive security culture will continue to prevail: No major indicators tell us that healthcare security landscape is going to change anytime soon.

8.    Real-time warehousing and operational BI will be leveraged: Supporting (integration) technologies are fairly mature, and enough design patterns exist. Because of this, all the ingredients to leverage BI platforms for operational intelligence are at our disposal.

9.    Growth of Data virtualization and Logical Data Warehouse: Traditional data warehouses (DW) just can't seem to keep up with the data explosion and the ever-growing analytics needs. Hence, a more pragmatic approach is to have a federated set of data sources wrapped by a virtualization layer to give the appearance of one big DW.

10.    Integration of Wellness and Care Management (WCM) programs: These programs will engage patients and members to promote and track a healthy lifestyle via wearables and WedMD, as well as offer telemonitoring services for sensitive cases such as cardiac patients and their nurses for critical response.

2016 is an exciting time for the healthcare IT industry. If leaders can anticipate changes in insurance technology and strategically plan for the growth ahead, their organizations can pave the way for newer and more efficient systems in the healthcare landscape.

Article by: Syed Haider and Yunus Burhani are Senior Architects at X by 2.

About X by 2
Established in 1998 and based in Metro Detroit Michigan, X by 2 is a technology consultancy focused on the practice of architecture in the insurance and healthcare industries. Whether P&C, Life, or Health, X by 2 knows the insurance business and has proven experience planning and delivering core insurance systems, business applications, and enterprise integrations. For more information, visit xby2.com.

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