7. Getting To Know The Newly Insured 

The report states that 2015 will be revealing in that greater insight will emerge regarding the 10 million newly insured. According to the report, in 2015, the number of insurance companies participating in public exchanges will increase by 25% compared to 2014. In four states, the number of insurers offering plans on the exhchanges will double while in 32 other states, that number is set to rise. 

In 2015 and years to come, the number of newly insured patients will only rise if projections bear out. This afffords great opportunity for companies. 

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December 4th, 2014
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 9. Redefining Health and Well-being for Millennials

In 2015, millennials will become the largest group in the U.S. workforce, increasing their representation to 75% by 2030, according to the report.

This demographic values work/life balance as well as overall well-being higher than dollars and cents. As a result employers have to refresh their strategies of offering employee benefits and incentives for workplace wellness to address how they can improve wellbeing and deliver an employee experience that millennials will value.

Millennials link an employee's overall happiness more closely to their engagement at work and their productivity, which in turn has real implications for the success of the employer.

Interestingly, while money motivates millennials less than other generations, they rate health benefits offered by an employer as highly as much older generations.

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December 4th, 2014
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 6.Open Everything To Everyone

Transparency is being sought in every nook and cranny in healthcare. And it isn't just a matter of making data available that can help consumers make smart buying decisions, the report notes. There are changes afoot in Europe and in the U.S. that is pushing to get all clinical trials data reported and published given that a fair amount clinical trials data is unreported. This denies researchers valuable information.

The trend toward transparency is being seen amongst regulators too - FDA launched its OpenFDA public database for analyzing drug and medical device adverse events, recalls and labeling information in 2014. This enables patients and physicians to search the data sets to understand how often side effects can occur with specific products. The agency is also encouraging third party developers to create mobile apps to connect patients taking the same medications so they can share individual experiences.

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December 4th, 2014
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5. Putting a Price For Positive Outcomes

Providers and insurers are all reluctant to pay for high drug prices unless the drugmakers can actually prove that they are improving clinical outcomes for patients and/or lowering costs. While the PwC report focuses on drugs, device makers are also faced with the same challenging market. Gone are the days when device vendors could simply tweak an existing product, add a bell or a whistle, and then charge a premium and have no one blink.

Now drugmakers and device makers alike need to prove to payors and providers that their products improve clinical outcomes and also lowers overall costs, a tall order.

Even new advances are often not guaranteed success. Genomics has made remarkable progress in the past couple of years bringing the promise of personalized medicine a little...

December 4th, 2014
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 3. Balancing Privacy And Convenience

The report states that in 2015, the "tension" between data security/privacy and convenience in terms of accessing healthcare data will only grow. In the survey, privacy concerns won out over access to most kinds of data. 

However, people are less concerned about privacy if they can be convinced that sharing data will have a healthcare benefit. More than half of survey respondents said they would be open to sharing data if it improves care coordination. And nearly half were willing to share data to support real-time decision-making.

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December 4th, 2014
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 2. Making The Leap From App to Medical Device

The Food and Drug Administration has been regulating mhealth apps if they function as a medical device and so far 100 products have been approved, the report states. While all mhealth apps do not need to be regulated and some should stay in the consumer realm, there are others that might benefit from an FDA stamp of approval. 

Even among consumers, 20% of respondents to an HRI consumer survey said FDA approval was very important in their decisions to use a mobile app. Not surprisingly, a greater share of clinicians - 26% - responded that FDA approval was most important when deciding to prescribe apps.

"We believe it's helpful to think of apps like drugs. Just like in a local drug store, we need an "Apps Pharmacy" with tiered levels of certification/regulation and process for physicians to recommend or even prescribe apps," said William Falk, North & South...

December 4th, 2014
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2014 was the year that one of the Affordable Care Act's main provisions - the healthcare exchanges - went into effect. That, along with the Sunshine Act that requires companies to disclose how they physicians and other changes has heralded a shift into a new healthcare paradigm.  

What will 2015 bring? PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute (HRI) published a report Thursday that identifies the top 10 health industry issues that will emerge next year. The report is based on an annual fall survey of 1,000 consumers and interviews with health industry experts. 

Here is a slideshow of 10 charts to explain the key issues further:

1. Do-it-Yourself Healthcare

Patients are...

December 4th, 2014
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When it comes to getting the word out about your medtech company, stick with tried and true methods.

By Sarah Sherwood

I talk a lot about how communicating publically has changed. But what the new guard is doing to speak on your behalf is not necessarily better. The old ideas of working with a handful of reporters to help tell a story has worked for years, and the practice, as a result, has helped clients access their customers in an exciting way. The secret to a successful program that yields the results medtech companies want today involves a combination of exercising old and new habits in communications, keeping in mind that some of the new methods aren’t working at all.

Don’t Abandon Traditional Media Relations

Social...

December 2nd, 2014
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A recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers provides evidence that China is a market that medtech multinationals just cannot ignore.

As growth has stymied in mature markets like the U.S. and Japan, executives need to look eastward in emerging economies for growth, the report urges. And while the prospect of navigating an emerging market with different culture, language and regulatory regimes is daunting, the data that PwC presents makes the market very attractive.

For instance, PwC estimates that between 2013 and 2017, China'e medtech market is expected to grow at an compound annual growth rate of 20% reaching nearly $50 billion by 2017. In 2013, the Chinese medtech market was valued at $23.7...

December 2nd, 2014
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The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing - that is not news. However, the infographic below created by NowSourcing takes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to present the top seven positions that will need to be filled by the year 2020.

The need for more healthcare workers is in part being fueled by the sheer volume of baby boomers retiring every year.  

 

Healthcare Jobs are Booming

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November 25th, 2014
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