Chronic illnesses account for 75% of the $2.2 trillion we spend on health care each year in the U.S. In comparison, we spend about $600 billion a year on our military. In other words, healthcare costs us almost 4 times more than our military. Think about it: It costs 4 times more to treat the sick than to protect the entire nation. Seventy percent of chronic illnesses are preventable, and with adequate treatment and lifestyle changes, some are even reversible! To lower healthcare costs, we must look at effective ways to proactively manage the health of individuals.

As the health care industry makes the extraordinary shift from reactive sick care to proactive health management, we must rethink overall costs and prices. The move to a value-based system from the traditional fee-for-service approach is a response to the changing nature of our times. This move requires a continuum of support from the government through regulatory changes that embrace best practices, technological innovation, and strong leadership.

Healthcare organizations need to make sure their IT solutions can support value models. IT leaders must build a digital infrastructure that goes beyond the physical boundaries of their institutions so that meaningful and actionable data can be mined to facilitate personalized interventions in effective and secure ways. Artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies, for example, are examples of disruptive and new technologies expected to have qualitative impacts on healthcare. According to Gartner, a digital business is supported by technology platforms in five areas: 1) An Information Systems platform, 2) a Customer Experience platform, 3) a Data and Analytics platform; 4) an IoT platform, and 5) Ecosystem platforms. We will explore each one of these areas in greater detail in subsequent blogs. Stay tuned