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JOMO & Healthcare Technology Hype Curves

Updated: Aug 19

joy of missing out healthcare technology

Despite being in a business that demands hundreds of human-to-human interactions a week, my wife considers me a recluse when I'm not talking with executives. She couldn't be more different, given her FOMO (fear of missing out) on local social events. But I was recently made aware of a counter term to FOMO, known as JOMO, or the joy of missing out. Now, everywhere I look, I see JOMO-related tee shirts like "Sorry I'm late but I didn't want to come anyway" and "The Anti-Social Social Club."

Jokes aside: FOMO and JOMO are not limited to social interactions. They are very much a part of technology considerations and implementation efforts in healthcare. Many of these initiatives are driven by a fear of missing out at the expense of agility for competitive advantage. However, I hear more and more from healthcare technology executives and senior management that they also share the joy of missing out.


So many of the pitches these health-tech pros hear are driven by the hype curve or what they call the new technology "sugar rush." Most seasoned health technology veterans have developed differentiation skills to determine innovation versus vaporware. But the pressure to adopt new, untested technologies comes from multiple directions in the healthcare enterprise.

Many times it comes from outside the day-to-day management team. In the spirit of full disclosure, as a board member, I've been in the position of "encouraging" a technology team to test a new implementation that they may not have quite been ready for. Board members feel a fiduciary responsibility to have the organizations they govern remain forward-thinking and competitive. However, board members may be the worst in their ability to have new tech pass the smell test unless they live with those technologies in their other lives.

In other cases, the pressure may come from the grassroots staff who feel behind the times compared to their peers, friends, or competitors. And more recently, the pressure may come from HR, as they explain to their department leaders why they're unable to retain intellectual capital or recruit the best talent.

Ironically, these forces can also be influential in helping the enterprise experience JOMO. We all remember a moment in our careers when we said, "Thank GOD we didn't deploy that system/technology. Look what happened to Competitor ABC!"

Many of the emerging technologies that result in JOMO are what one might expect. In fact, Gartner has had a famous practice focusing on the "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies." Two of the key inflection points on the cycle graph pretty much sum up how enterprises can have the joy of missing out: The first is the "peak of inflated expectations," which is then followed by a "trough of disillusionment."

Or better stated for this blog, the "FOMO to JOMO Maturity Model!"

So what emerging healthcare technology trends have tended to create a deep sigh of relief after waiting? In my recent experiences interviewing C-Level executives, here are the top four for healthcare enterprises:

  • Blockchain was all the rage, but many feared implementation before its complex security backbone was demystified. They've reduced anxiety by taking a cautious approach, knowing there would only be more use cases (best or worst) to make an informed decision. The problem with validating the efficacy of blockchain in healthcare use cases is that an enterprise would need to share how many breaches the platform could not block rather than how many it successfully stopped. No vendor or healthcare enterprise wants to share cracks in the chain!

  • Artificial Intelligence and Generative AI are undoubtedly the most ubiquitous hype curve terms in board rooms and executive suites today. Everyone agrees that AI will continue to become mainstream, but many have decided to wait to jump on the train. Perhaps the number one JOMO lesson CIOs have had is the shortage of skilled AI professionals it requires to deploy artificial intelligence and the prerequisite machine learning feeds that can power it.

  • IoT (Internet of Things) has arguably become a mainstream acronym. Still, many enterprises have been reluctant to connect various devices with no real strategy to gain insight from the feeds. More recently, edge computing strategies have experienced the same hype curve – with the same early stage JOMO – of finding how devices communicate with and extract data on the periphery without relying on a central data center. The relationship between IoT and security is more critical as wearables spew data into public and private platforms.

  • Extended, XR, Virtual, and Augmented Reality: The section title alone reinforces the potential for a JOMO experience. If it weren't ambiguous enough, marketing forces have taken control to re-brand to Extended Reality or XR. This now means EVERY form of AR, VR, and associated technologies. I'm a massive fan of XR and would likely be in the boardroom pushing the platforms for fear of FOMO. But I'm also a realist and have seen that, in many cases, XR can be a technology searching for a problem. Despite its visual appeal, many chief medical information officers are begging for empirical data to confirm improved outcomes. In some cases, providers using this technology find that its greatest value may actually be for marketing purposes.

For a more extensive list of digital health hype curve technologies, I recommend this excellent piece by Judit Kuszko.

Do you have a JOMO example from your enterprise?

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