Healthcare: 3 Tech Topics to Watch in 2017

Healthcare: 3 Tech Topics to Watch in 2017

Almost immediately after taking office, the Trump administration is following through on the GOP’s promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), colloquially known as Obamacare. So far, President Trump has only issued an Executive Order generally instructing government agencies to limit the scope of the ACA. However, it is clear that more sweeping changes are on the horizon, not just for Obamacare, but for the entire healthcare industry.

So what does this mean for health tech businesses? Here are three areas to watch in 2017:

  1. Retail-Oriented Healthcare. President Trump’s business-minded proposals might take the healthcare industry down a path that more closely resembles a traditional retail market. Coupled with the new administration’s pledge to rein in federal regulations, this new healthcare economy could provide a more accommodating link to consumers for innovators looking to break into highly regulated markets, like medical devices and new therapeutics.

  2. Analytics. The healthcare industry in the United States has been moving away from the fee-for-service tradition, and focusing more on value-based care. This shift was emphasized by the ACA, and is likely to be one of the few components of Obamacare that persists under the new administration. Foreseeing a world where value and quality are paramount to regulating the healthcare industry, experts in the field are looking for more thorough, modern, and efficient analytics platforms. This creates more room for innovators and startups to step into a crucial role in the industry.

  3. HIPAA Uncertainty. For many emerging companies in health tech, HIPAA compliance is, if not a concern, at least a consideration. Under the Trump administration, commentators are largely uncertain about the future of privacy and health information. Some experts in the field don’t foresee any drastic changes in HIPAA enforcement, while some critics speculate that there could be major policy changes in this area. It will be prudent for companies who are interacting with health data, especially those producing wearables and mobile apps where HIPAA enforcement is already unclear, to keep an eye on any action taken by the new administration with regard to data privacy.

Written by Cameron Cole and India Powell of SkyPartner Venable LLP.