Big changes ahead for healthcare, says practical futurist Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers is a self-described "practical futurist." He's "not interested in flying cars," he explained. "I'm interested in things that will actually happen." (True, flying cars could still happen too – "but we've been promised them since 1958," he said).

Few industries are poised for as much change in the near-term future as healthcare, said Rogers, who will give the opening keynote at the HIMSS Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum in Boston on Oct. 22.

Healthcare is "one of the disciplines that's going to benefit the most" from technology innovation, he said – "and just in time, because the wheels are coming off."

The good news is that IT is well-positioned to transform the "overall healthcare delivery system" in fundamental ways, said Rogers, who launched Newsweek's technology column, served as vice president of The Washington Post Company's new media division and recently spent two years as futurist-in-residence for The New York Times.

We spoke with him about an array of changes he sees on the horizon: insurance companies becoming de facto regulators of new tech; emergence of wellness memberships that offer unlimited online consultations; continued evolution of artificial intelligence and machine learning; the potential for genetic surgery; increasing virtualization and verticalization across healthcare and, perhaps, a big new role for a company such as Amazon.

"I like to say the mantra of the future will be low-cost delivery, quanitified outcomes, maximized quality," said Rogers.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: [email protected]

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