Are you ready for the next big thing?

HHS awarded $1.5 billion in grants to 11 states for health insurance exchanges, but if you weren't there two years ago, you don't have much hope. So which 2015 opportunity should you be getting ready for?

A couple weeks ago, I heard Michele Kang, CEO of Cognosante LLC talk about the coming opportunity in health IT, particularly in the states.

One of the main points she was making, and the one I focused on in my blog, was that if you aren’t already in the market, it’s probably too late because the dollars are getting ready to flow fast and furious.

It looks like she had her crystal ball out that day, at the Raymond James Government Services & Technology Summit. Not two weeks later, the Health and Human Services Department has announced $1.5 billion in grants to 11 states.

The money will be used to build insurance exchanges, marketplaces for individuals to buy health insurance, under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Under the law, all states need to have marketplaces in place in 2014.

Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Vermont received awards today for Level One Exchange Establishment Grants, which are one-year grants for building the marketplaces. California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon received Level Two Exchange Establishment Grants, which are multi-year grants to further develop their marketplaces.

What got me thinking about Kang’s comments from earlier this month is that she’s right that if you wanted to grab a piece of this pie, today is not the day to start. Probably two or three years ago would have been the best time to begin talking to the states and others about how to build an exchange, what you can do with it, etc.

The other thing that I started thinking about is, standing here today, what’s the next hot opportunity that won’t hit the market until 2015?

If I were a company looking to invest, what customers should I be talking to? What challenges or problems should I focus on? Is there a disruptive technology I should be adding to my portfolio?

I don’t have answer, but I definitely would like to hear some ideas.

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