Three particular trends stand out in their potential to make a renowned impact on healthcare delivery and patient experiences in 2019, according to Chris Stout, PsyD, PhD, head of ATI Physical Therapy’s department of clinical research and data analytics.

1) Employer-Based Healthcare

As healthcare continues to take center stage politically, businesses and collaborations between companies promise to help contain costs while maintaining or improving quality outcomes.

ATI Physical Therapy notes in a media release that it has created a number of innovative direct-to-employer and direct-to-group models that have the ability and flexibility to help organizations save on healthcare costs by moving physical therapy services to the forefront of treatment services equation.

In addition, ATI’s Worksite Solutions (AWS) branch can also be on-site at an employer and provide preventative and therapeutic services. All such arrangements are evidence-based in their care and measured by clinical outcomes and performance in patient care.

2) Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Healthcare

Between 2011 and 2018, funding for US-based companies providing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) approaches to medical services saw a 2010% increase in total investment, to the tune of $98.4 million. The funding spikes demonstrate the potential of these technologies for healthcare delivery and more so, many hospitals are employing AI for mortality and readmission predictions, as well as operating room scheduling along with clinical uses in early diagnoses of sepsis and in clinical decision-making.

The opportunity that AI and ML present for healthcare providers and their patients may be endless. As such, ATI is looking to develop AI/ML approaches for their clinicians via “intelligent” evidence-based treatment guidelines that take into consideration the nature of the injury, the evidence-based literature for treatment decision support, in the context of the patient’s medical history and demographics, per the release.

3) The Role of Big Data and Analytics

As the population grows more heterogeneous and the appetite for efficient, yet effective healthcare delivery with positive outcomes increases, so does the need for large repositories of data that can guide real-world understanding of the patient experience for various conditions, diseases, and treatments. To provide that real-world understanding for research and clinical application, many universities, professional organizations, and practice groups are preparing big data programs.

ATI established one of these registries in 2015 that focuses on outpatient orthopedic rehabilitation cases and is listed in and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Registry of Patient Registries. Clinicians and researchers have access to and can benefit from the clinical trials performed by other groups, or they have visibility into outcomes of certain interventions conducted in more “real-world” clinical settings.

This also allows for research to be leveraged much more broadly than ever before and for clinicians and researchers to test hypotheses without incurring the time and expense of conducting primary research or doing their own data collection, the release continues.

“To continue providing exceptional, patient-centered care, we need to continuously advance our skill sets with the latest knowledge and advancements from across the entire healthcare industry. Focusing on trends in the industry and how ATI can contribute to growth in understanding and clinical application helps us meet our end goal ­ exceeding our patients expectations,” Stout says.

[Source(s): ATI Physical Therapy,]