ECRI Institute has listed 10 health care technologies and patient care developments it recommends that the C-suite pay attention to this year. The 2018 Top 10 Hospital C-suite Watch List touches on hot topics within the health care field, such as apps used to treat opioid addiction and direct-to-consumer genetic testing. It also addresses matters related to the physical environment.

Acuity-adaptable rooms made it to No. 3 on the list. As hospitals find ways to reduce or eliminate patient handoff risks, the concept of keeping patients right where they are has become an attractive alternative. ECRI’s trend report discusses not only the workflow adjustments that would have to be made to adopt this model, but also the infrastructure and equipment necessary to accommodate it.

Virtual reality (VR) is growing in popularity not just in the consumer world, but in health care as well. ECRI reports that hospitals are using the technology to help reduce anxiety among pediatric patients. Children and adolescents undergoing frequent treatments can use VR headsets to play games and navigate simulated environments using only head movements, allowing clinical staff full access to their hands and arms to perform needlesticks, intravenous access, physical therapy and other procedures. Also, by reducing patient anxiety, medical care providers help to improve the patient’s overall well-being.

Microhospitals round out the top-10 list as a new solution for fast-growing areas. But while the smaller footprint provides a useful middle ground between large, acute care hospitals and urgent care centers, microhospitals can differ greatly depending on the region. In its report, ECRI advises organizations looking to go this route to thoroughly assess the community’s true needs and expected utilization before investing in a microhospital.

Other trends that landed on the top-10 list include:

  • Apps for addiction
  • Direct-to-consumer genetic testing
  • Insertable cardiac monitor
  • Noninvasive treatmet for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Pain-free blood draw
  • Neonatal MRI systems
  • Intraoperative brachytherapy