Looking Back and Moving Forward: 2014’s Health Care Disappointments Drive 2015’s Trends

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It’s been quite a year in the medtech and healthcare spaces. We’ve seen the medical world fall in love (and maybe out of love) with Google Glass and other wearables. EHRs have continually failed our system, causing frustration and efforts toward improved interoperability. Data concerns spurred conversations about privacy and patient-controlled care. Collaborations between academic medical centers and start-ups (think the Brigham and Women’s Innovation Hub, or MGH’s Healthcare Transformation Lab) are becoming more common. Ebola taught us that while we may know a lot, we don’t know it all. The list goes on and on.

As we move into the clear air of 2015, we decided to check in with our expert network of physicians, innovators and entrepreneurs. What were the biggest disappointments of 2014? What trends should we watch for in 2015? As the people on the ground-floor of this rapidly transforming industry, these 8 experts have answers…

Dr. Peter Chai

PeterChaiDr. Chai is a medical toxicology fellow at the University of Massachusetts in Worchester, Mass. where he leads efforts to integrate Google Glass into the medical toxicology service.

Disappointments of 2014: “Where are we with caring for the elderly, the uninsured, the most vulnerable patients in our fragmented health care system? We developed great systems in 2014, but I fear we might have left the elderly and the uninsured behind. It’s important to keep developing new devices, artificial organs, new therapies, but we can’t forget that we need to make them accessible to everyone.”

Trends to watch in 2015: “This will be the year of the integration of wearable devices. In 2014, we started to use sensors to better monitor vital signs, lab values, patients at home and patients in the hospital. The wearable device world is fragmented: each device needs its own interface, and most devices are rudimentary and experimental. 2015 will be the year that things start to come together and wearables prove either their value or their lack thereof.”

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Jenni Whalen

Jenni Whalen

    Jenni Whalen is the Executive Assistant of Editorial at Upworthy. She was previously MedTech Boston's Managing Editor and has an MS in Journalism from Boston University, as well as a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. Whalen has written for Greatist, Boston magazine, AZ Central Healthy Living and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other places. She has also worked as a conference planner, ghost writer, researcher and content developer.

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