By Erin Dietsche | February 7, 2018

Value-based care initiatives are the biggest drivers of healthcare technology spending this year, according to a new survey from Damo Consulting.

Patient engagement and care management efforts came in as the number two drivers.

The Illinois-based healthcare advisory firm surveyed 38 individuals from global tech firms, population health management organizations, digital health companies, global management consulting firms and more. The majority of respondents were CEOs, heads of business or in sales/marketing roles.

Other key topics pushing health IT spending include enterprise digital transformation (47.37 percent of respondents), cybersecurity and ransomware (39.47 percent) and population health management (28.95 percent). M&A doesn’t appear to be as significant of a driver, as less than 11 percent of respondents selected it.

Survey participants were also asked which areas they predicted would see increased spending this year.

Data and analytics was the clear winner, with slightly more than three-quarters listing it as the field that would see more spending in 2018. Approximately 47 percent said AI/cognitive will witness more spending, followed by digital health applications. Cloud migration and IoT also made the cut. Blockchain did too, though only 13.16 percent of respondents chose it.

Despite opportunities for growth, there are numerous obstacles that stand in the way of health IT spending development.

A little more than 60 percent of individuals said a lack of enterprise readiness for new technologies is the number one headwind for growth. Exactly half of the respondents said interoperability challenges are the biggest hurdle. About 47 percent noted insufficient or unproven ROI on new IT solutions as a roadblock.

Other obstacles stunting growth in health IT spending included the cost of maintaining existing tech investments like EHRs, the risks associated with new technologies and data quality issues.

Typically, choices about technology solutions and services have to go through a particular decision maker. That individual’s role varies from organization to organization, according to the survey.

Slightly less than a quarter of respondents said the CIO is the primary decision maker at their company. Other titles included CTO, CFO, CMO, certified municipal financial officer, chief digital officer and chief innovation officer. A sizable chunk — 28.95 percent — indicated their organization’s primary decision maker fell into the “other” category.

Damo Consulting also deviated from the health IT spending focus by shifting to a question about the healthcare environment. Respondents were asked to rank four factors to determine which will have the greatest impact on 2018 healthcare. The rise of non-traditional healthcare players (like Apple, Google and Amazon Web Services) is viewed as the most salient element effecting the sector.

Original Article