New wearable health devices. Aggressive health care consumerism. The integration of real-world data into drug research and development. All these factors are promising to disrupt the health care industry in 2018. The following 10 outlooks and predictions from leading health care organizations and experts reveal what stakeholders should expect in the year ahead and how they can reinvent themselves for both clinical and financial success in 2018.

In alphabetical order by source, here are 10 must-read health care outlooks and predictions for 2018.

Pharmacy Forecast 2018

Source: ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) Foundation

Takeaway: “The advent of wearable devices (wearables), mobile apps, sensors, and telehealth has the potential to extend the role of the pharmacist through remote interaction with patients in ways that have previously not been possible. Pharmacists should work with patients to use monitoring data to help prevent adverse events and hospital admissions while improving outcomes and overall health. Pharmacy needs a strategy to capitalize on these new data sources by effectively integrating them into the practice model.”

2018 American Hospital Association Environmental Scan

Source: American Hospital Association

Takeaway: “Health care providers are fostering true patient engagement and recognizing the diversity in their communities. Individuals are increasingly viewing health care through a consumer lens. As the patient grows to expect a digital health care experience, health care organizations are responding by embedding technology into care delivery and focusing on protecting patient information.”

2018 Healthcare Industry Outlook

Source: Avalere Health

Takeaway: “New ways to collect data, advanced analytic capabilities, and accessibility of a growing number of data sources are revitalizing efforts to translate real-world data into evidence that can inform policy and clinical practice. There is also renewed interest in using real-world data and evidence in areas that had previously been discounted. In 2018, acceptance of real-world data and evidence to support decision making will continue to grow as payers, manufacturers, and providers begin to generate insights that position them to deliver better value to their customers.”

Cleveland Clinic Unveils Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2018

Source: Cleveland Clinic

Takeaway: “In 2018, innovators will be upgrading the entire vaccine infrastructure to support the rapid development of new vaccines, as well as breaking ground on novel mechanisms to deliver new and existing vaccines to vast populations. For example, innovators are perfecting the use of freeze drying vaccines which can allow shipment to more remote locations. Companies are finding faster ways to develop flu vaccines using tobacco plants, insects and nanoparticles.”

2018 Outlook: Many Hospitals and Health Systems will be Straddling Two Canoes

Source: Deloitte

Takeaway: “As health systems take on more at-risk contracts with health plans and government payers, they become financially responsible for the health of their members. For many hospital leaders, it will be critical to understand the populations included in their risk-based contracts. The people who make up a community won’t necessarily reflect the population included in a contract. Members in a contract might be sicker and higher users of resources compared to the broader community.”

The Top 3 Digital Health Trends to Watch In 2018

Source: Fortune

Takeaway: “Remotely diagnosing and treating patients via telemedicine will grow fiercely in 2018 and impact nearly all facets of health care. More doctors will be able to see more patients in a much shorter timeframe, irrespective of their physical locations. As telemedicine adoption expands, it will be driven by stronger EHR integration, and the growth of urgent care operations. Patients will see big benefits. Telemedicine will provide greater convenience and better access. Patients won’t have to take time away from work to be seen by a doctor, and those located in rural areas—where physician shortages are very real—will enjoy similar access to high-quality care regardless of where they live.”

Top 10 Predicted First Time Solution Investments by U.S. Hospitals in 2018

Source: HIMSS Analytics

Takeaway: “The solution with the 8th most first-time solution investment by hospitals in 2018 is pharmacy workflow systems. Based on our predictions, we expect to see 145 U.S. hospitals buy this technology for the first time in 2018, resulting in a 2.6% increase in adoption. Pharmacy workflow systems are defined as: ‘…automation that supports the dose preparation process including routing, preparation, inspection tracking and reporting. The intent of these systems is to improve patient safety and increase efficiencies while decreasing waste.’ Pharmacy departments are doing more and more to integrate with other departments as well as collaborate with other pharmacists to deliver better outcomes for patients and stronger bottom lines for their organizations.”

2018 CFO Outlook: Performance Management Trends and Priorities in Healthcare

Source: KaufmanHall

Takeaway: “With a seat at the strategic decision-making table, contemporary CFOs in hospitals and health systems want to, and should, bring analytics-based insights about financial impacts to all strategic conversations. Responsible for significantly more than reporting, CFOs are integral to the development, execution, and monitoring of the organization’s vision and strategy. They must be equipped with appropriate and actionable data and analysis.”

Top 10 Pharma and Biotech 2018 Trends to Watch

Source: Pharmaceutical Executive

Takeaway: “By now, we’ve all grown comfortable with what makes a specialty drug ‘special.’ But, the pipeline includes numerous drugs that will disrupt how we think about specialty and the services that play sidekick to that designation. Specifically, the marketplace will see many low-cost therapies requiring the high-touch services customarily implemented for their higher-priced relatives. That demand will compel innovative program design by manufacturers and specialty pharmacies.”

Top Health Industry Issues of 2018: A Year of Resilience Amid Uncertainty

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

Takeaway: “Changes at the FDA will prompt pharmaceutical and life sciences companies to take a hard look in 2018 at their ability to collect and use real-world data, which is patient health and outcomes data gathered outside of randomized controlled trials. Real-world evidence partnerships with pharma could create new revenue streams for cash-strapped health systems or provide resources and technical expertise to extract meaningful population health insights.”

Related: Learn about McKesson's outcomes research studies with real-world evidence of treatment patterns, health outcomes, resource utilization, and costs

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