2012: Social Business Trends Converge

By Joel Selzer posted 01-26-2012 12:54


For those who have been keeping tabs on the rise of social business in healthcare, McKinsey's 5th annual survey on the way organizations use social tools & technologies finds that they continue to seep into many organizations, transforming business processes and raising performance.

In fact, McKinsey reports 72% of 4,200 global execs said their companies now use social tools.  So with the rising level of adoption, it is no surprise Forrester Research predicts the Enterprise Social Software Market will become a $6.4 billion market in 2016.   Given the increased utilization and investment in social tools, we see four key trends converging as social business heats up the healthcare industry in 2012.  


Social and Mobile – Social health and mobile health (#hcsm and #mhealth for my fellow twitterati) were hot topics in 2011.  These trends will not only continue to flourish but will converge in 2012 as massive adoption of smartphones and tablets among healthcare providers will push organizations to extend mobile support to clinical applications and enterprise social tools.  

Let’s face it, the vast majority of healthcare professionals are not tethered to their desktops, they are on the move throughout the day and rely on a myriad of mobile devices to access critical information on the go.  As social tools make it easier for clinicians to tap into the collective knowledge of their peers, they are increasingly turning to social apps on their iPhones, iPads and Android devices to access best practices and trusted advice from colleagues and co-workers.

Big Data and Social Analytics - The volume of healthcare data has been exploding, especially with the increasing deployment of electronic medical record systems in both ambulatory and in-patient settings.  Most of us are familiar with Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, Centricity but did you know that PracticeFusion (the leading SaaS EMR vendor) has 120,000 providers and 30 million patient records?  Impressive right.  With this explosion in growth the opportunity to analyze large healthcare data sets, otherwise known as “Big Data”, can lead to significant improvement in practice efficiency and clinical outcomes as researchers and healthcare professionals explore trends in population health. 

Yet, the volume of “structured” data flowing through a patient’s medical record pales in comparison to the amount of “social” and “behavioral” data being collected online today by Facebook, Google and Twitter.  While enterprise social tools do not yet boast 800 million plus users like Facebook, the millions of patients and providers now engaging around health related issues on both public social sites and enterprise deployed social software will create a treasure trove of social and behavioral data.  As leading social players expand their business intelligence capabilities to harness the tacit knowledge being shared, we will see see big data and social analytics converge in 2012.

Joel Selzer
CEO - Ozmosis, Inc.

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