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Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning Poised to Make Major Impact on State Health & Human Services (HHS) Programs

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 30, 2019) — Health and Human Services (HHS) leaders across the U.S. are moving aggressively on digital transformation to improve how their agencies deliver important services to diverse communities, according to new research from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the leading trade association for the global information technology industry.

 

CompTIA’s “State of State Health & Human Services (HHS) Technology Programs” is an annual research initiative based on a survey of state and local HHS thought leaders relative to agency technology issues, challenges, trends, and perspectives.

 

Spearheaded by CompTIA’s Human Services Information Technology Advisory Group (HSITAG), in partnership with the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), this year’s research focused on four major areas:

 

Service Delivery Modernization and Transformation Analysis of Emerging Trends and Technologies Modularity State of Data Analytics in the Human Services Enterprise

 

“The survey results provide important insights into what state HHS agencies are doing around the country and offers valuable perspectives on how they are leveraging technology to create greater efficiencies and expand consumer access to services,” said Louis Polzella, HHS Specialist Executive, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Executive Council Member of HSITAG.

 

Modernization and Transformation

 

More than half of those surveyed (54%) indicated that the current status of digital transformation with their agencies was either in the implementation stage or advanced implementation stage. This is vastly different from last year when well over 60% indicated that they were in some form of planning only.

 

Another interesting finding: Most states are not pursuing a one-stop portal for citizens to conduct HHS businesses with an agency. Instead, states are allowing each program to develop online tools to serve their missions. Fifty-two percent of respondents indicated they have separate portals for specific programs, up from 37% in the previous year.

 

The survey also finds that more than 10 years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the trend to modernization continues with respondents reporting system modernization as the biggest initiative State agencies are facing in the coming year.

 

Emerging Technologies

 

Asked to evaluate what emerging technologies will be the most impactful over the next three years, 61% of respondents said Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, up from 45% a year ago. Chatbots and other forms of digital assistants were another area of interest with 53% of respondents saying that sort of technology is on the uptick.

 

When asked to characterize the completeness of their service delivery system transformation, only 29% of the respondent’s report being 50% or more complete. This is down from last year when that percent stood at 42%. Top barriers impacting the achievement of an agency’s modernization goals, five reasons stood out in the results, with budget constraints leading the field.

 

Data Analytics in the Human Services

 

The CompTIA survey included questions on data and analytics this year in order to gain a better understand of how information is being used and shared within state HHS programs. The results show the adoption of data and analytics technologies is beginning across state agencies, with plans to expand.

 

At 58%, the majority of respondents have implemented an Enterprise Data Warehouse and use both the cloud (50%) and on-premise (56%) solutions. New technologies such as predictive analytics and AI have a smaller footprint at 22% and 11%, respectively.

 

Sharing data is limited with 82% of respondents reported having limited or no cross-agency data sharing. The future of data sharing is predictive and in the cloud, according to the research. When asked to list their top three planned technologies, 61% listed predictive analytics and 58% listed cloud. Third was data visualization at 33%.

 

Modularity

 

Results from this year’s survey also indicate a significant increase in the number of states moving toward a modular architectural approach to their HHS system development projects. The number reporting no adoption of modularity dropped from 14% last year to 3% in 2019. The number of states indicating early adoption with more to come to moderate adoption jumped from 52% to 71%.

 

CompTIA’s “State of State Health & Human Services (HHS) Technology Programs” is based on an annual survey of HHS agency CIO and Program Directors across all 50 states. The results are shared nationally for the benefit of HHS agencies. The complete report is available for download here.

 

About CompTIA

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the more than 50 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit www.comptia.org to learn more.

 

About CompTIA Public Sector & Advocacy

CompTIA supports policies that positively impact the ability of the IT industry to develop, manufacture, and sell solutions in the global marketplace. We work to promote investment and innovation, market access, effective cybersecurity, consistent privacy regulation, streamlined procurement, and research and development. As the leading provider of vendor-neutral IT certifications, we also support efforts to promote a well-trained technical workforce. Visit www.comptia.org to learn more.