by Philip F. Jacobus
, CEO | November 29, 2017
Each year at RSNA, HealthCare Business News invites our PR contacts, Marketing contacts and a few advertisers to join us for breakfast at 7am to network and hear what we think will be the hot topics of the coming year. This year, once again, we packed one of the Hyatt Ballrooms and at 8:25 I shared our predictions for next year to a standing room only crowd.
Here are my predictions for what we will be talking about in 2018:
1. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE GETS REAL
- Gathering up massive amounts of data and turning it into smart algorithms that guide better patient outcomes is the future of radiology. Plain and simple... and it's already happening. If you can make it through a day at RSNA without hearing about artificial intelligence then you should get some kind of prize. The real question now is: which companies will succeed in monetizing it?
2. 3-D PRINTING EXPANDS
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- If you've read the latest issue of HCB News magazine then you know how exciting 3-D printing is. Imagine taking a CT scan and turning the digital picture into a perfect 3-D model, exactly replicating the anatomy of the patient... that's precision medicine and at places like Mayo Clinic it's enabling providers to plan smarter surgeries while also improving communication between patients and physicians.
3. ARRIVAL OF BLOCKCHAIN
- Cyber threats continue to be a huge problem for hospitals where old computer technology often leaves valuable patient data vulnerable to attack. In 2018 we're going to hear more about blockchain as a secure and tamper-resistant way of exchanging currency online. It's my prediction that one day we will all look back with amusement at the time before we really understood what blockchain was -- like trying to explain the internet to your uncle back in 1994.
4. RESOLUTION AMONG OEMs AND THIRD-PARTIES
- For HTMs, ISOs and OEMs, the recent FDA investigation into the safety of third-party medical equipment service has been a hot button issue. In 2016 I think groups were polarized whereas in 2017 we started to acknowledge the value of each stakeholder. I am hopeful that in 2018 we will get some resolution on this issue and it will benefit patient safety without compromising market competition.
5. GROWTH OF PROTON THERAPY
- If you read my blog then you know I'm humbled to have played a role in bringing proton therapy to Russia. In speaking with industry experts I was convinced long ago that this was the future of radiotherapy. If you look around at the global adoption of protons then I think you will agree with me.
In 2018 we will be watching what impact this has on other treatment options, what sort of reimbursement models will be developed, whether the trend will be towards one gantry system or multiple gantry systems, and what will happen to pricing?
Phil is a member of AHRA, HFMA, AAMI and the Cryogenic Society of America. He has contributed to a number of magazines and journals and has addressed trade groups.
Phil's proudest achievement is that he has been happily married to his wife Barbara since 1989, who helped him found DOTmed in 1998.