We’ve created a technological monster.

With all the talk about the uses for novel technologies in healthcare today, such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT), genomics and Blockchain, and how they revolutionize multiple industries business models, the importance of patient’s demands, and the promise of emerging technologies is certain. The notion of these emerging technology’s supreme success is tantalizing to the ear and imagination, but the overuse of the terms lead to mass hysteria.

This impression can result in the hype and lofty expectations about what emerging technologies are and what they can do for us, as nurses. The attention in the news and social media related to innovations, including vendor advertisements, blogs, and whitepapers that stop at addressing the function emerging technologies, can create a false reality of their use and outcomes.

The terms ‘innovation’, ‘innovative,’ ‘disruption’ and ‘disruptive’ may lead us to believe that anything is possible with emerging technologies and that anyone in the technology ecosystem is an expert on them.

In truth, the implementation and adoption of disruptive innovations take time, as they are dependent on robust conceptualization, length of their lifecycle, suitable use cases, the abilities and numbers of skilled developers, and the success of their utility. Emerging technologies are developed rapidly, many times too quickly, based on customer demands and modern society’s “now economy” and vendors rush-to-market, quick-sell approaches. Inflated promises and ideals of the purpose and expectation of how emerging technologies will serve us lead to failure as well, as we, in our haste to implement them, overlook crucial function of development until it’s time to show a real return on investment.

Many champions and creators of revolutionary technologies claim to have the latest most excellent product, and many people refer to themselves as ‘disruptive innovators’ without precise knowledge of the inner workings of the technologies themselves. They merely speak of the promise of innovation and what it may do for healthcare, and nurses, without proving its value and using innovation theory to disseminate it.

So, hoping, wishing, and promising for the value of emerging technologies will bring to the bedside are disenchanting.

With more education and skepticism, we can diffuse the firestorm of hype. True value emerging technologies can become certain, given time, market demand, and proof of actual return on investment. Having the right minds to cultivate innovations and disseminate them will move us from hype to reality in the creation and use of emerging technologies. Rigorous testing and outcomes research at the point of care are methods to accomplish this.

Nurse scientists and data analysts are the superheroes who demonstrate the effectiveness of emerging technologies now and will be in the years to come, as will nurse informaticists, who work tirelessly with health IT vendors, clinical staff and administrators to implement revolutionary technologies in hospitals, provider practices, and virtual care settings.

We are in the era of emerging technologies where hoping, wishing, and promising instead needs replacing with proven, quantifiable value. It’s time for the hype monster to be squashed once and for all through the demonstration of actual benefits to patients, health systems, providers and practicing nurses.

Nurse Evolution will guide all nurses in the latest health tech advances, the practical applications of data and how to nurture creativity.  Join the Evolution to start learning how emerging technologies, data, and creative concepts demonstrate real value for patients in all environments.