By Lizzie Mooney

My, how times have changed. Back in 2015, we celebrated the all-American holiday of July 4th by looking back at some healthcare innovations that were setting the stage for a healthy (and beautiful) America. Looking back at this post through the lens of where we are now in 2017 is eye-opening, to say the least. It’s shocking to realize how little, and equally how much, has changed in the past two years. Yes, policies and government regulations are at the top of the list, but even in terms of technology and innovation healthcare is leaps and bounds ahead of where we were.

The rise of value-based care initiatives and bundled payments have forced healthcare organizations across the board, from primary care to ancillary services to post acute providers, to revisit how internal operations and efficiencies contribute to the overall cost of care, as well as to the overall patient experience. Every facet of the patient journey, from check-ups to admissions and home health, is now tracked, measured, and stored in comprehensive profiles. Each touchpoint is monitored to ensure the highest quality care and service, which in turn influences cost metrics like errors, delays, and readmissions.

The innovations taking place outside healthcare (looking at you, Amazon and Google) are no longer staying outside. Healthcare, once a stalwart industry hesitant to change, is quick on the heels of tech giants to embrace technology like machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). There is now an almost-infinite amount of data available to industry leaders, opening the door to an almost-infinite amount of possibilities.

With these boundary-pushing innovations in its corner, healthcare is on the brink of an unparalleled revolution. Just think -- if individual organizations can begin to harness the incredible power of data and analytics, what will happen when this power spreads to populations and communities as a whole? Even now, advanced machine learning solutions are working with local policy makers to influence population health and wellness. Advanced learning platforms are leveraging predictive intelligence to determine the probability of preventable diseases, such as diabetes, with incredible accuracy. These types of programs will only continue to grow and create a wonderfully healthy America.

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