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TMCNet:  Looking Ahead: Top Five Healthcare IT Trends for 2013

[December 06, 2012]

Looking Ahead: Top Five Healthcare IT Trends for 2013

Dec 06, 2012 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- Dallas , Texas -- Getting to the future first doesn't happen overnight. AT&T's * strength comes from leading industry trends for healthcare customers seeking to harness technology to enable an integrated approach to healthcare -- where providers and payers work together as an efficient and effective team -- while enabling patients to take a more active role in their own care.

Drawing from its AT&T ForHealth practice area where innovative solutions are moving from pilots to large-scale implementation, AT&T sees the top five trends for 2013: 1) A shift from stand-alone "unsponsored" apps to meaningful "sponsored" mHealth solutions supported and pushed by insurance companies, healthcare providers, employers, or other institutions will result in higher patient adoption and engagement.

Example: AT&T conducted DiabetesManager® pilots with Health Care Service Corporation , AT&T , Centene and Alere where more than 600 individuals showed high adoption, sustained engagement, positive behavior changes and high customer satisfaction. These results are significant when compared to basic smartphone apps in which 26 percent are downloaded and used only once, and of the people who confirm using their apps, 74 percent drop out by the 10 th use 1 . In a Medicaid population, Centene observed a decrease in hospital admits and emergency room utilization in the participants when comparing their data 90 days before the pilot to 90 days after enrollment.

2) Hospitals and other healthcare institutions including payers will begin to move more and more healthcare data into the cloud, with data analytics to better manage healthcare costs by finding and addressing patient needs earlier.

Example: The Indiana Health Information Exchange is improving care coordination in 93 hospitals and among 25,000 physicians in 17 states. The expansion of this network is supported through a cloud-based collaborative care and HIE solution from AT&T that reduces the time to on-board member hospitals while growing the bottom line and increasing sustainability. Henry Ford Health System is using a cloud-based medical imaging solution from AT&T to provide access to medical images to all of its cardiologists, regardless of location, and pay for only the storage it uses, helping save money for the health system.

3) Remote patient monitoring will move from pilots to large-scale adoption as more hospitals adopt the accountable care organization model to reduce hospital readmission costs associated with chronic conditions.

Example: It is hoped that results of a pilot study using a cloud-based remote patient monitoring solution from AT&T at Texas Health Resources will indicate reduced CHF-related readmissions. If so, Texas Health plans to expand use of the technology systemwide.

4) Integrated mHealth applications will be created that can connect with other devices, apps and data for more holistic healthcare, where information is safely shared across platforms regardless of the vendor.

Example: More than 360 registered developers have created 190 next-generation connected applications on the AT&T mHealth Platform . Quest Diagnostics has been working with AT&T to include sample data in the platform for developers creating applications to utilize at hackathons and collaborative application development environments.

5) Upswing on telehealth to bridge the significant gap between physician resources and patient demand.

Example : By 2015, the U.S. will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed and by 2025, that shortage will likely double to 130,600 2 . AT&T telehealth solutions can help bridge the gap by extending specialist availability to rural areas. Most St. Joseph Health patients (95%) using AT&T telehealth for the first time indicated they were "completely satisfied," with their experience.

"Physicians make better treatment decisions and predictions based on better data, so we must have better access to information when patients need it the most," Geeta Nayyar, M.D., Chief Medical Information Officer, AT&T ForHealth, AT&T Business Solutions. "These kinds of technologies have the potential to help people make the shift from being reactive to being proactive with their care." "AT&T's ability to innovate and implement continues to make it a formative player in the Healthcare IT arena and is well positioned to take advantage of these trends," said Stephanie Atkinson, Co-Founder, Compass Intelligence.

AT&T ForHealth solutions and innovations will be demonstrated at booth #801 at the mHealth Summit in the Washington DC area from Dec. 3-5, 2012.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

1 Consumer Health Information Corporation, Consumer Survey, March 2011.

2 Association of American Medical Colleges, "Physician Shortages to Worsen Without Increases in Residency Training" Fact Sheet, September 2010.

About AT&T AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world . Its subsidiaries and affiliates -- AT&T operating companies -- are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

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