2019 Year End Blog

As this year comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back at my predictions for 2019 and see just how right (or wrong) I was.

Last year, I predicted:  Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcareis discovered to be another overblown, impossible-to-realize technology promise.  

Reality: No such luck. Despite a handful of articles cautioning us to move carefully forward with the use of AI and machine-learning in healthcare (such as this one), most still enjoy hyping up the market with ideas about robot doctors and total healthcare democratization. Don’t get me wrong: technology is definitely making a necessary and positive impact in the industry, but it’s through more functional innovations like Natural Language Processing (NLP) that we will continue to see the greatest advantages right now. 

Last year, I predicted:  Doctors revolt massively against complex software.

Reality: Not exactly. But what we have seen is a huge uptick in physician burnout, with an increasing number of doctors speaking up about the issue. While tedious chart management and data entry compounds the problem for everyone in the healthcare industry, the more important consequence is when critical diagnoses or high-risk patients are missed because of the complexity of inefficient charting processes. Those kinds of errors create mountains of extra work for doctors and are contributing monumentally to their fatigue. Look for an upcoming 2020 blog post on this important topic.

Last year, I predicted:  Oprah skips a presidential bid and dips her toe in the healthcare privatization waters in an effort to make healthcare available to all Americans.

Reality: I was half right. Oprah won’t be running for President in 2020. But thus far, she hasn’t made a move toward funding healthcare reform. Maybe someday.


Last year, I predicted: 
Primary care docs find better ways to leverage clinical and other resources, make more money, and deliver better healthcare outcomes to their patients. 

Reality: Well, they’re working on it. See the next item.

Last year, I predicted:  Learning that higher co-payments and premiums don’t deliver better care, patients revolt and exchange talk about “patient engagement tools” with a demand for lower costs, more convenience and better-quality outcomes. 

Reality: This is the crux of our healthcare industry debate right now. While I wish I could say we were closer to solving problems for all interested parties, we’re likely just getting started in our progress toward a solution. But I will reiterate what Talix has said time and again: Reducing risk, bolstering revenue, and improving patient outcomes can happen together when the right technology is applied with the right payment models and the right collaborative strategies. We have case studies that can demonstrate this in action.