On The Horizon For 2020: PharmD Live’s Review Of Top Healthcare Trends

On The Horizon For 2020: PharmD Live’s Review Of Top Healthcare Trends



PharmD Live is looking to the future of healthcare with an analysis of emerging trends in the rapidly evolving world of patient care. Our focus in 2020 will be applying the best innovations and approaches that support our core values of empowerment, whole-patient care, customization, innovation, and value.

Top Trend #1: Virtual Health

Consumers are plugged in. With the rising use of digital technology, healthcare wearables, and virtual care, the concepts of going online or using an app to manage health have rapidly gone mainstream. Consumer advantages, ranging from convenience to cost to real-time data flow, mean that virtual health will continue to gain acceptance. However, significant barriers to entry and reasonable doubts about these technologies still present major challenges to the digital health industry. Lack of understanding about the technology and concerns about privacy, combined with a preference for face-to-face interaction, suggest that a segment of consumers will remain disengaged with virtual health. Also, access to virtual care delivery is not universally available to all patients, due to variations in background, demographics, and socioeconomic status.

Our take: Virtual healthcare has numerous benefits for patients and healthcare providers, but it is not a universal approach. The ideal scenario employs technology to provide all patients with access to personalized, adaptable care that equals the quality of treatment they would receive in a clinical setting.

Top Trend #2: Healthcare Data Utilization

Harnessing the power of information, from a single patient to an entire population, is a major topic in the healthcare industry today. Proponents envision a future where data insights and predictive analytics can increase the efficiency of healthcare delivery and train AI to accurately improve health outcomes, but reaching these goals is a formidable challenge. The promise established by the HITECH Act and requirements for interoperability between electronic data systems has – so far – fallen short of its potential. Data privacy and cybersecurity are ongoing dilemmas in the proper storage and usage of electronic health information. Although technologies exist to support these processes, industry-wide cooperation, common technical standards, and secure verification methods are yet to be achieved.

Our take: We will see healthcare data systems continue to improve, standards develop, security improve, and regulations evolve. Data analysis to drive better care is a worthy ambition, and investment in this sector will begin to produce results for individuals and overall population health.

Top Trend #3: Patient Engagement

Now more than ever, many patients are willing and able to take an active part in their own care. Direct-to-consumer care, self-diagnostic services, genetic testing, and pharmacogenomics are leading trends among health-savvy consumers. Increasing numbers of wearables, health & fitness apps are making digital health more accessible. 

Our take: Healthcare does not occur in a vacuum. Consumers will continue to rely on guidance and communication with a traditional healthcare team, including physicians and pharmacists. Consumer engagement channels are a complement, rather than a threat, to conventional healthcare models, and should be embraced by providers looking to better coordinate with patients.

Top Trend #4: Pharmacy Integration

Patient care settings that rely on decision-making by one provider are fading in favor of team-based models that deliver coordinated care and better health. Pharmacists, as experts in disease state management and medication therapy, are at the forefront of this evolution. With anticipated changes to federal regulations that will both ease limitations and provide incentives for coordinated care, healthcare practitioners are coming together in unprecedented arrangements that streamline healthcare delivery and deliver improved health outcomes.

Our take: Proposed reforms, including strong safeguards to protect patients from fraud and abuse, are long overdue to enable providers to better coordinate high-quality healthcare. Team-based approaches, with pharmacists as central partners, provide better health outcomes and improved value in healthcare delivery.

The future of healthcare starts with what is happening now. Changes in technology, consumer behavior, and healthcare regulation today will drive the delivery methods of tomorrow. With our commitment to patient empowerment and improved health outcomes, PharmD Live is positioned at the forefront of coordinated care. Learn more today at pharmdlive.com. 



  • Health apps and wearable devices
  • Receptiveness to virtual care
  • AI / virtual doctors


  • Big data
  • Virtual access to health care


  • Direct to consumer healthcare
  • Focus on social determinants of health


  • Patient empowerment
  • Precision medicine
  • Interoperability and data exchange standards for EHRs (FHIR)
  • Healthcare wearables
  • Patient self-diagnostics
  • Predictive analytics
  • PGx


  • Data security, cyber attacks, and patient privacy
  • Telemedicine
  • Wearables
  • Cloud computing
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • AI
  • Chatbots
  • Data science and predictive analytics
  • Blockchain / interoperability
  • Pharmacists integration into clinical team- bigger role as part of the healthcare team  especially to care for patients with chronic and debilitating diseases.
  • Regulatory:-HHS Releases Proposal to Reform Stark Law, Antikickback Rules To Support Value-Based Care




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