Top 10 Tech Trends 2012 Healthcare vs Higher Education

The Top 10 Tech Trends 2012 from Healthcare Informatics is a stark contrast to the Top 10 Tech Trends for higher education.

The comparison of the healthcare top 10 tech trends to those of higher education has greater relevance than you might think. Each industry has very similar business models dominated by non-profit and public sector entities. Both industries as services based linked entirely to outcomes and providing a public service for broad constituencies.

Healthcare and higher education rely exclusively on a human to human service model with technology offering innovative alternative delivery models. They also have complex revenue and financial models involving cost shifting, third party payers and the need for longitudinal information systems and data sharing.

Healthcare and higher education are also experiencing the effects of the economy. And both industries are going through reform movements that includes regulatory reform. Their respective reform movements also include accountability mandates causing greater scrutiny of outcomes and the efficacy of current strategies and technology investments.

In case you need any additional reasons to justify the comparison of the Top 10 Tech Trends 2012 between healthcare and higher education consider that nearly every college and university provides healthcare services on some level with many offering quite a full range of primary care services with many of the large universities also operating special clinics, dental care, hospitals, academic medical centers, and entire health systems.

Top Ten Tech Trends 2012 Compared

Healthcare Informatics

NMC Horizon Report (Campus Technology)

Chronicle of Higher Education

Performance Imperative Mobile Apps Rise of Non-traditional Colleges
Population Health Management & Re-admissions Tablet Computing Credit for Open Courses at Traditional Colleges
Turning Healthcare Business Model Inside Out Game Based Learning Blended Courses
Bridging the Care Transition Gap Learning Analytics Adaptive Learning
Second Generation Clinical Decision Support Gesture Based Computing Mobile Devices
Year of the CISO Internet of Things Free LMS & Courseware Offered as Loss Leaders
Private Health Information Exchanges on the Upswing Cost Consciuousness
Imaging Informatics and the Enterprise Community Colleges Connectivity
The BYOD Revolution Badges and Games
The Game Changer (Genetic Medicine) Cheating

Even if you are not familiar with some of the terminology used in the healthcare top 10 tech trends you will still notice the marked difference in the focus of the list to that of the Ed-Tech represented by the NMC 2012 Horizon Report.

The healthcare list is much more business oriented and focused on technology solutions rather than the technology itself. I find this to hold true even when considering other top tech trend lists such as the list compiled by the Gilfus Group and Audrey Waters.

To contrast the 2012 Horizon Report I have included the Top 10 Tech Trends as seen by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle’s trends list is much more appealing to me because like the Healthcare Informatics list it too is very focused on the business. This can be an important lesson in the power to language in positioning your agenda.

The reason for this post wasn’t simply the timing of the Healthcare Informatics Top 10 Tech Trends 2012 so close to the NMC 2012 Horizon Report. There were several reasons for this post:

  1. Draw attention to the Ed-Tech’s preoccupation with the technology instead of focusing on adding value through new business models, responding to regulatory changes and most importantly directly impacting outcomes.
  2. Remind CIO’s the healthcare operations on their campus or elsewhere in their organization can serve as tremendous resources on a wide range of issues including location awareness, asset tracking, analytics, security, and big data.
  3. Guard against becoming overly focused (re: outwardly) on the gadgets and your infrastructure plans and think twice before using the typical Ed-Tech top ten tech trends list in your IT strategic plan in order to avoid the appearance you are not focused on the business of education.
  4. Remember your strategic value is linked to where you get your information as evidenced by the noticeably different top 10 tech trends of the Chronicle compared to Campus Technology and the NMC 2012 Horizon Report.

There was one other reason for writing this post. That was to highlight the conspicuous absence of healthcare technology issues in the higher education technology media and information sources. Sure you will find a fair amount on HIPAA but very little else on healthcare technology.

This must make it incredibly hard on CIO’s and IT leaders serving in medical colleges, campus clinics or supporting medical research not to mention the medical programs needs. Solving the challenges of integrating electronic health records with student information systems is a one-off for the SIS and the EHR vendors made more difficult by the lack of standardized interfaces in the SIS platforms.

This one issue makes it incredibly hard to handle everything from scheduling clinical rotations to documenting clinical experience for course work and licensing. And of course there are others when the SIS must integrate with hospital ERP or surgical information systems.

Perhaps the intersection of healthcare and education is just too small to warrant anyone giving it attention. Perhaps it is just too varied and complex that the vendor community and Ed-Tech folks prefer to leave the CIO to navigate the issues themselves.

Having supported an academic medical center myself a few years ago and more recently a full service dental clinic, I wonder just how challenging other IT leaders currently in the trenches find this situation to be. Are there sufficient resources to support your blended focus? Who do you turn to most when you need assistance?


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