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    Top 10 tech trends that will define 2017

    Dr. John Flucke shares his views on what will be the defining dental trends of 2017.

    As 2016 draws to a close, we’re looking back at the year, but we’re also looking forward at what’s to come. What are the top 10 trends that will define 2017? Here’s what I see making a big impact next year:

    1. Digital impression CAD/CAM:

    CEREC was invented in the late 1980s (how they ever managed to pull that off with the technology at the time still amazes me). The product category made baby steps of progress until the late 1990s and early 2000s when the combination of an incredible drop in computer prices and a tremendous growth of processing power coupled to drive innovation. Soon the E4D unit came along, followed by several companies with digital impression systems. Today, more than 20 percent of offices are using some type of digital acquisition technology and the number continues to grow. This is no longer a “should I buy,” but is now a “when I buy” tech.  

    2. HIPAA:

    In the last year we have seen several high profile data breaches in the healthcare industry. We’ve become used to seeing this type of thing occur in the retail industry (remember Target?), but suddenly our industry appears to be in the cross hairs of hackers as well. Of course when a retailer is hacked, they only have the negative publicity and restitution to customers. When the same situation happens to us, we have another entity to appease: the government. Fines for HIPAA violations can be severe, so it behooves all of us in healthcare to give data security a high priority. However, we shouldn’t do it just because of threats of a fine—it’s also the right thing to do! 

    Read more: 8 steps for a successful HIPAA compliance plan

    Up next: 8 more tech trends that will define the new year

    Dr. John Flucke
    Dr. John Flucke is in private practice in Lee’s Summit, Mo. He also serves as technology editor for Dental Products Report magazine and ...

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