As a technologist, I have been talking about the idea of interoperable data and service-oriented architectures for years, maybe decades. Even just a couple of years ago, we were still framing interoperability as being the wave of the future. I think the future has arrived on our doorstep, and 2020 could be the year that we finally cross the threshold. I also expect life sciences firms will be focusing even more attention on the patient experience next year. More about that later.
In just the last year or two, I have noticed a mental shift among many of our clients in the life sciences sector, and I expect that shift will move faster in the year ahead. Rather than talking with clients about why they need to move toward interoperability, I anticipate we will be spending more time exploring cloud platforms and other natively interoperable and API-based architectures that are needed to attain interoperability.
The anticipated federal regulations around interoperability were recently delayed, giving stakeholders some breathing room to comply. We are encouraging our health care and life sciences clients to continue to push forward next year so that they are prepared once the final regulations are released. From my perspective, interoperability is synonymous with the future of health. I see it as the foundation of our vision. When we think about interoperability, we are talking about processes, architecture, standards, stakeholders, insight, and culture. We are talking about information across every organization’s employees and functions. This includes information generated by regulators, customers, patients, doctors, and caregivers. It also includes data produced by wearable devices, sensors…even smart pills.
Deloitte’s vision for 2020—and the years ahead—goes beyond interoperability. We are predicting radical interoperability based on the sheer volume of data that could become available and analyzed in the future. It’s not far-fetched to think that the world could contain 100 billion connected devices 10 years from now or sooner. That means trillions of connected sensors that could lead to the development of new therapies or preventive measures specifically tailored for each individual. Personalized health data combined with artificial intelligence (AI) could also lead to the development of personalized electronic health-coaching advocates and fundamentally change not just the patient experience, but the human experience, too.