2013 Predictions Revisited

It’s that time a year when we pick our favorite trends from the past year and pull predictions out of a hat for the upcoming year.

Here is my list of predictions for 2013. As you can see, I’m not very good at looking into a hat for answers.

1. Patients are offered app bundles. This didn’t happen. Happtique has been talking about this for a while. Happtique made a lot of noise this year about its app certification program, launched it, got some bad press because several of the certified apps got hacked, and then promptly put the certification program on hold. IMS Health launched AppScript, a platform for organizations to evaluate and prescribe apps and to create app formularies. AppScript launched earlier this month, so patients aren’t being offered app bundles yet.

2. Blue Button gets huge. This happened. Blue Button and CCDA are top of mind for many people these days, at least the circles I run in. We haven’t seen Blue Button scale, but we’re seeing more an more orgs and vendors start to plan for it. If you haven’t looked at http://BlueButtonPlus.org lately, you should.

4. Licensing reform will ease the regulatory burden of telehealth across licensing and state lines. Another miss by me, though there is a lot of talk. I’ve recently talked to several vendors that are working closely with state medical boards to lift restrictions, at least on a pilot basis. The waters are still muddy, but there does at least seem to be progress on this front.

5. Physician use of secure smartphone communication platforms will increase. I’m sure this did happen, as there were lots of press releases and news stories about pager replacement pilots, but I can’t find any hard data on this.

6. Enterprise business models will get more of the available funding. I think this did happen, but I can’t find any numbers to back it up. I looked at the Rock Health mid-year 2013 funding report, but it didn’t explicitly break this out. Perhaps other information is available. Funding for digital health was active again this year, but I can’t find a breakout for enterprise vs. consumer offerings.

7. Concierge and integrated systems will blaze a trail. In my world this did happen, but I don’t think it’s widely publicized. I’ve talked to concierge docs that are using Fitbits and even AliveCor as part of their practices. Kaiser and other integrated systems continue to pilot and even build apps, open up APIs, and pilot telehealth options.

8. Patients will be issued tablets for in-facility use. Again, not happening at scale, but in testing. I know of two companies, PadInMotion and ContextMedia, that are offering tablets to patients. Not all patients can use tablets, but a large subset can. Tablets with apps can be used to engage and inform patients at the point of care.

9. We’ll start to figure out what a mobile EMR looks like and what it should do. The real push on this front has been from AirStrip and specialty specific offerings like Modernizing Medicine. AirStripOne is positioned to be the unified mobile interface for accessing clinical data — both EHRs and device data like EKGs — putting a pretty mobile face on EHRs. Accessing EHR and device data is the biggest challenge for AirStrip, as it is for most of the industry. Modernizing Medicine offers a dermatology-specific tablet EHR with an impressive experience. My biggest gripe about Modernizing — and this is something that needs to be fixed for all mobile EHRs — is not offering an offline functionality. The Modernizing site actually suggests having two Internet connections in case one goes down.

10. Acquisitions. I predicted Simplee or Cake Health would get acquired, either by Castlight or by ZocDoc. Again, a miss. I wish I had predicted the Epocrates acquisition, but I did not see that one coming at all.

I’m disappointed with myself on this. I would be OK if this was baseball and it was my batting average. I’ll cover the trends for 2013 in my next post, then predictions for 2014 after that.


Travis Good is an MD/MBA and co-founder of Catalyze. More about me.

  • Matthew Holt

    #5 is correct by Doximity growing alone. #6 is also correct….you should have asked me. Health 2.0 has all those numbers that require more than the 20 mins of data collection RockHealth does, and we’ve shown it in plenty of places.

    Happy NY

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