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JOMO: The joy of missing out on health tech hype curves

The FOMO to JOMO Maturity Model shows that chasing new technology can make orgs yo-yo from periods of high expectations to disillusionment.
By admin
Apr 1, 2024, 8:40 AM

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 on conference calls or talking with executives.  

She couldn’t be more different given her FOMO or fear of missing out on the local social events. I was recently made aware of the corollary to FOMO, now known as JOMO, or the joy of missing out. There are now JOMO-related tee shirts, my favorite of which say “Sorry I’m late but I didn’t want to come anyway” and “The Anti-Social Social Club.”  

It made me think that FOMO and JOMO are not limited to social interactions. They are very much a part of technology consideration and implementation. Many of these initiatives are driven by a fear of missing out at the expense of agility for competitive advantage. However, I’m hearing more and more from healthcare technology executives and senior management that they 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 technology veterans have developed differentiation skills to determine innovation versus vaporware. But pressure to adopt new untested technologies comes from different directions in the healthcare enterprise.  

Many times, it comes from outside the day-to-day organizational 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 have not quite been ready for. Board members feel a fiduciary responsibility to have the organizations 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 they are behind the times in relation to peers, friends, or competitors in the same industry. And more recently HR may tell the departmental leaders in providers and payers that they are unable to retain intellectual capital or having challenges with recruiting the best if they are not bleeding edge.   

Ironically, these same forces can be influential in helping the enterprise experience JOMO. We all can 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 hype curve emerging technologies that result in an early adopter version of JOMO are what one might expect. Gartner has had a famous practice that focuses 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 the purposes of this blog, the “FOMO to JOMO Maturity Model”! 

To be clear, it’s not a matter of institutional pessimism towards all forms of hot new technology. It’s more a matter of specific subsets within the broader tech hype. A CIO from one of the country’s largest provider/payer networks said “We’re simply not apologetic for going very slow with breakthrough technologies, especially as they get closer to clinical decisions versus business processes (ie. RPA).”  

So what emerging healthcare technology trends have tended to create a deep sigh of relief after pausing and waiting for the offering to be fully baked? 

In my recent experiences with interviewing healthcare technology and C-Level executives, there are the top three for enterprise IT.  

Artificial Intelligence and Generative AI are undoubtedly the most ubiquitous hype curve terms in board rooms and executive suites around the world. Everyone agrees that AI will continue to become mainstream, but many have decided not to jump on the train too quickly. Perhaps the number one JOMO lesson that CIOs have learned from peers is related to the shortage of skilled AI professionals it takes to deploy artificial intelligence and the prerequisite machine learning feeds that can power it. 

Blockchain was all the rage but many fear they risk implementation before demystification of this complex security backbone. They’ve reduced anxiety by taking a cautious approach while knowing that there would only be more use cases (best or worst) from which 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 was unable to block rather than how many it successfully stopped. No vendor or healthcare enterprise wants to share cracks in the chain! In addition to blockchain, which has admittedly matured many other areas of cybersecurity have created JOMO largely because terms like Zero Trust have been overused to the extent of not having a clear meaning.   

Finally, IoT and IoMT (Internet of Mobile Things) have arguably become mainstream acronyms, but many enterprises have been very reluctant to connect a variety of 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. But considering the massive interoperability and security aspects, IT leaders are watching enterprises that are less risk-averse before jumping in.  

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