Happy Holiday season to everyone! Like I’m sure most of you, I am wondering how the year shot by so quickly. And what an interesting year, for sure.

Bull Image

Talk about time shooting by quickly… I’ve been on the board of directors at Persistent System for more than two years now and in that time I’ve spent a fair bit of time thinking about some of the big changes going on in the industries we serve. It’s hard to look specifically at the Healthcare industry and not wonder what happens next. As consumers, providers and insurers we will all experience a shifting (hopefully much for the better given the amount of GDP Healthcare represents in the US!) landscape in 2018 and beyond.

Last week CVS Health announced their plan to buy health insurance giant Aetna. According to Larry J. Merlo, CVS Health’s president and CEO the $69 billion acquisition could “remake the consumer healthcare experience.” And then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that House Republicans plan to work on entitlement reform next year as a way to “tackle the debt and the deficit.” He went on to say that the House would be working to reform programs like Medicare in 2018, calling them “the big drivers of our debt.”

CVS Aetna Image

OK…..let’s accept that major changes are coming and will continue to come. And let’s all embrace the need to try and stay healthy (go easy at your holiday parties!) and shift to a preventive care model (go out for a walk or run, but like the bull above, stretch first!). In order to provide material benefits to all constituents and lower costs we are going to have to embrace what Persistent speaks about as “continuous transformation by design.” This is a mindset where we are always innovating and we strive to deliver hyper-personalized digital experiences, by design. In order to do so organizations and their partners are going to have to have a deep understanding of the underlying factors in what one could call “Software 4.0”. Deep understanding of data and data structures, rapid application build and deployment, data integration and interoperability, machine learning and finally the ability to provide intuitive applications and services on any device.

For example…..Persistent Systems and Partners HealthCare, founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, recently announced a strategic collaboration to develop a new industry-wide open-source platform with the goal of bringing digital transformation to clinical care. Persistent will help the digital transformation of clinical care at Partners and, together with Partners, develop an open-source platform to lower the barriers for knowledge exchange across healthcare providers and enable a new generation of decision support apps in the clinical environment.

And how is this significant, why so important? As Sandy Aronson, executive director of IT at Partners HealthCare Personalized Medicine in Boston said in a recent interview in SearchHealthIt, “We’ve really reached this point where there’s this juxtaposition of different factors that are coming together, from increasing cost pressure within the healthcare environment to later availability of underlying IT infrastructure that can provide access to new forms of data, as well as better access to existing forms of data, to machine learning coming into play.” There are many HealthCare organizations and many great consulting firms working to find ways to drive significant improvements in healthcare delivery and preventive care. Persistent Systems is providing technology and expertise to many of them and looks forward to helping define the Healthcare system of the future.

In closing, have a safe and joyous holiday season and best wishes for a fantastic 2018!! …..and maybe go ahead and start on that New Year’s resolution of being healthier now!

Acknowledgments to the New Yorker for the great “Bull” cartoon and to Dave Simonds, The Economist, for the CVS/Aetna cartoon.