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Survey Highlights Digital Health Challenges and Opportunities for Health Systems

By Ken Briodagh
November 19, 2018

As health systems look ahead to the challenges and opportunities of the coming year, they are increasing spending to defend against cyberattacks, expressing optimism about reimbursement for telehealth services, and feeling anxiety about Apple, Amazon and Google entering the health care space, according to a recent study from the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM), in partnership with The Health Management Academy.

The new survey, “Top of Mind for Top Health Systems 2019,” focused on cybersecurity, telehealth and interoperability. The findings are based on quantitative and qualitative surveys of C-suite executives at nearly 40 U.S. health systems.

Key findings:

  • Hackers and other cyber-criminals are stepping up their attacks on the health care industry, leading 87 percent of respondents to say they expect to increase spending on cybersecurity in 2019; no health system was expecting to decrease spending.
  • Health information technology (IT) leaders overwhelmingly expect government and commercial reimbursement to provide the majority of funding for telehealth services by 2022; internal funding and patient payments are expected to provide the majority of funding for telehealth in 2019.
  • 70 percent of responding executives said they were “somewhat concerned” about big tech companies, such as Apple, Amazon and Google, disrupting the health care market; 10 percent were “very concerned.”

The CCM, which is jointly operated by GE Healthcare, Nokia and UPMC, partnered with The Academy for the Top of Mind 2019 survey. Conducted in three parts, the research started with a survey of health system information officers in May 2018 to determine the top areas of health IT for 2019; 63 chief information officers (CIO), chief medical information officers (CMIO), and chief nursing information officers (CNIO) responded.

A quantitative survey was conducted in July 2018 with questions focused on cybersecurity, telehealth and interoperability; 30 CIOs, CMIOs and CNIOs responded. In September 2018, qualitative interviews were completed with 18 C-suite executives, including chief executive officers, chief operating officers, CIOs and CMIOs. Overall, the respondents represented 38 health systems with average annual revenue of $5.3 billion.

For more key findings, download a copy of the report at connectedmed.com.


The IoT Evolution Expo, and collocated events, IoT Evolution Health, LPWAN Expo, The Smart City Event, and IIoT Conference, will take place Jan. 29 to Feb 1 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Visit IoTEvolutionExpo.com to register now.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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