Report Identifies Game Changers for U.S. Health Care

Recent innovations, developments may transform direction of patient care in next decade, researchers say

Imagine if doctors and hospitals got paid for providing better care, not more care, and consumers had better data for making informed health choices.

A new report suggests that's the direction the U.S. health system is headed.

The report, from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics in Parsippany, N.J., identifies 10 "harbingers of change" -- recent events expected to alter the delivery of health care and use of medicines over the next decade.

The authors concede that poor adoption of new technologies, worries about data privacy and other obstacles could slow the pace of change, but their long-term outlook for patient care is hopeful.

"I think there can be optimism about the effectiveness of the care [patients] receive and even the cost of it," said Murray Aitken, executive director of the institute, as well as one of the study's authors.

One indication of what lies ahead: the entry of such technology juggernauts as Apple, Google and Samsung into the health care marketplace, according to the report.

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